The average increase in temperature over Bangladesh, particularly in the Northwestern region, would be 1.3 degree Celsius and 2.6 degree Celsius for the years 2030 and 2070 respectively, said a study report.
During a media dialogue on ‘Patterns and Effects of Climate Change in the Northwestern Region of Bangladesh’ organized by NETZ Bangladesh and Bangladesh Centre of Advanced Studies (BCAS) at the National Press Club, speakers revealed a study report saying, there would be a seasonal variation in changed temperature with more severe drought in summer and more devastating floods in monsoon in the region.
According to the study, the temperature would increase by 1.4 degree Celsius in the winter and 0.7 degree Celsius in the monsoon months in 2030. While the winter precipitation would decrease at a higher rate in 2030 and in 2075 there would not be any appreciable rainfall in winter.
Severe heat stress induced by temperature rise, cold wave and non-rainy days in winter are predicted in 2030 and 2050, said the study report.
Presenting the study findings, Dr Dwijen Mallick, Fellow of BCAS, said, while, high level of floods and river bank erosions in northern region of the country affecting agriculture, food security and livelihood of the millions there, the major climate change related disasters including drought, heat stresses, flood, river bank erosion, drawdown of underground water, cold wave, fog, Nor’wester, thunderstorm pest attack.
BCAS in association with NETZ Bangladesh conducted the study in 10 representative villages of the 10 selected upazilas of seven districts in Rajshahi and Rangpur regions.
Dr. Dwijen Mallick said there are growing climate change impacts on key livelihoods and food security of the poor in the region.
Food Security, due to loss of crop yield and low working potential and low purchasing capacity of food during drought and heat stress, water availability and health are being affected in moderate to higher degree by drought in Rajshahi, Rangpur and Dinajpur divisions, said the Fellow.
The study report identified the houses of the poor, regional infrastructures, subsistent agriculture, share cropping by the poor groups, home garden and vegetable growing as the most impacted and vulnerable sectors. And these sectors are critically important for food nutrition and income for the poor, indigenous community and women.
Mentioning that the working potential of the poor is reduced due to heat stress, severe cold and fog, Dr Mallick said in the report that, the wage earnings from agriculture and non-agriculture labour has been found as the second most impacted and vulnerable livelihood sector of the poor in all three divisions followed by livestock and poultry.
The study said, the poor, women and indigenous community cannot take three full meals every day while the Public Food Distribution System (PFDS) and Social Safety Net (SSN) programme are inadequate.
According to the report, the programmes are very often influenced by body politics, where the affected communities do not get their due share from the programmes of the government.
It also suggested some potential adaptation options to fight the challenges, such as crop diversification, drought tolerant crops, efficient irrigation and water management through canals and some other.
Policy and advocacy specialist, Mizanur Rahman, who is also a member of the study, said, though the government has taken many initiatives such as Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF), NAPA and others, yet, problems lie with poor implementation and governance.
While chairing the session, Dr Atiq Rahman, Executive Director of BCAS, said, as newer climate challenges are arising for this region, an adequate allocation is needed in the upcoming national budget. Special focus and attention should be given on the poor, Charland dwellers, and indigenous communities.