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Water scarcity in Bangladesh

Multiple Authors

VSO Bangladesh working on awareness raising upon water scarcity from Carolien Pronk on Vimeo.

Gram Bikash Kendra (GBK) is an NGO operating in North West Bangladesh in five districts. They work with marginalized and vulnerable people on the issue of water scarcity. Focus group discussions and a literature review provide the basis for the study.

Bangladesh occupies a rather unique situation as the world largest delta relying almost entirely on water coming from outside its borders. It has experienced a drought every 1.6 years in the last 3 decades.

North West Bangladesh is the area of interest in this study. It is heavily reliant on ground water deep wellsfor agriculture productivity. However, a lack of forest cover and unreliable supplies of ground water and surface water supply means the future of food production looks bleak and is set to worsen in the face of climate change. Local communities therefore are being empowered to mitigate these impacts, and adapt to those which are inevitable.

The geographical area of study covers the whole of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions (16 districts). Theareas most affected are the drought prone areas of Gobindagonj Upazilla in Gaibanda district, Mitapoker inRangpur, Sadar in Nilphamari, Birampur and Parbatipur in Dinajpur and Puchbibi in Joypurhat.

The participants of the study came from 12 groups interviewed in 5 districts of NW Bangladesh namely: Dinajpur, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, and Joypurhat. A total of 312 people attended these meetings: 229 women and 83 men.

The main stakeholders are GBK, VSOB, Department of Agricultural Extension, the community in general, shallow tube machine owners and business men, teachers, Union Parishad members, farmers and NGOs.

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