Dealing decisively with climate change is key to ensuring sustainable development, poverty eradication and for safeguarding economic growth. SAJIDA’s Climate Change and Disaster Management (CCDM) project is aimed at reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience in climate-affected communities in South West Bangladesh.

This will be achieved by addressing four specific needs of vulnerable communities in Gabura union and climate migrants in Mongla port municipality.

  • Access to Fresh Water
  • Mental and Physical Healthcare Services
  • Creating climate resilient Livelihood opportunities
  • Developing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for disaster risk reduction

SAJIDA’s Climate Change and Disaster Management Program

Climate change impacts livelihood, safe drinking water, food security, housing and overall wellbeing.

Through targeted approach aimed to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience, SAJIDA’s Climate Change and Disaster Management (CCDM) program will focus on climate vulnerable communities and migrants in Gabura and Mongla.

Why Climate Change & Disaster Management?

Bangladesh is widely considered to be at the forefront of climate change and disaster impacts. People living in the Sundarbans regions are environmentally vulnerable, economically poor, and marginalized to climate change. Inhabitants of coastal areas constantly combat the damaging consequences of cyclones, floods, coastal erosion, and other disasters. However, as the severity and frequency of catastrophes have increased in recent years, communities have become more vulnerable and thus less capable to cope with these calamities.

48.3%

rely on rainwater as primary source of drinking water

24%

of women are forced to walk more than 30 minutes get water

80%

women suffer from urinary tract infection, miscarriages, and skin diseases

35%

are mentally impacted by natural disasters and climate change

97%

believe climate change and disaster affect their wellbeing

89%

are forced to migrate for earning Livelihood

Where do we need to Intervene?

According to the World Bank study “Securing A Resilient Future for Bangladesh Sundarbans” in 2014, climate change has made the region poorer, with almost 50% living in poverty. Due to extreme weather events e.g. cyclone and slow onset change e.g. salinity, there has been an increase in migration, and for seasonal labor and longer-term resettlement alike. Crisis of freshwater, lack of livelihood opportunities, lack of essential services including medical, education, sanitation, and proper living facilities are among the primary obstacles which are increasing vulnerability in both Gabura and Mongla.

Cyclones, heavy rainfall, and tidal waves hit Gabura almost every year, harming the residents, destroying their homes and crops, increasing poverty and the number of ultra poor in these areas. In addition to these tragedies, waterlogging damages paddy, vegetables, and other crops during the rainy season, and fish producers lose their fish due to overflowing water. To negate this, CCDM is supporting climate resilient livelihood opportunities and green skills development and developing long term nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction while creating opportunities for cohabiting people and biodiversity.

Long distances from potable water source coupled with absence of male household members leaving home to secure livelihoods for their families results in women being subjected to various forms of stress and sexual harassment. Usage of saline water for drinking, and daily activities results not only in high blood pressure but also a plethora of physical and mental health issues. By providing access to fresh water and mental and physical healthcare services CCDM has aims to reduce mental stress and develop communities’ resilience to change living standards.

Our Approach

Lack of safe drinking water for the people of this region will be addressed sustainably by constructing

  • 5 tanks (20,000 liters capacity each) for rainwater harvesting shall be setup at the community level, catering to the needs of 150 households 750 individual
  • A tube-well supplying  water through a community piped water supply system for 1500 Households

Mental and physical healthcare of communities shall be safeguarded by

  • Training  12 Community Health Workers  (CHWs) on Mental Health First Aid
  • Providing 6 month Community Mental Health Worker Training to 3 health workers
  • Assigning an MBBS doctor for 15 days a month and referral to Friendship Hospital when required

Climate resilient livelihood opportunities and green skills development shall be supported by

  • Initiate Integrated Farming for community-based cultivation by providing necessary training and assistance to 15-20 farmers in clusters. There is also need to create forward and backward market linkage
  • Provide training on SORJAN method and saline tolerant seeds 
  • Training in homestead gardening and food growing adapted to climate impacts 
  • Training and creating market linkages for e.g., Keora achar making, honey, dry fish 
  • Provide Green skills training to adolescents and targeted youth groups around eco-tourism, electrician, and motorcycle maintenance

Developing long term nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction and creating opportunities for cohabiting people and biodiversity

  • Mangrove Plantation in the embankment and beside the canals through creation and enhancement of collaboration  and  networking  among  government  institutions,  beneficiaries,  and NGOs
  • Agroforestry, digging canals for storing freshwater for agriculture, diversified crops
  • In addition, with the help of grants and loans, communities will be able to start micro-business that focus on ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions which will contribute toward financial independence in the long run