Bangladesh

How dire climate displacement warnings are becoming a reality in Bangladesh

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After the floods, a real-time glimpse of migration as rice-farming villages empty

AZM Anas
Economics editor and journalist covering international development, migration, poverty, and the environment.

Two years have passed since extreme rains and flash floods inundated this fertile rice-growing region in northeastern Bangladesh, but farmer Shites Das still sees the lasting impact today: his neighbours are abandoning their homes and fields.

In March 2017, torrential rains burst river banks, washed away roads, and damaged 220,000 hectares of precious rice crops – weeks before the yearly monsoon rains typically set in. It was the start of the worst flooding to hit the country in years. Rice imports skyrocketed to cover a national shortfall, more than 80,000 homes were destroyed across Bangladesh, and in tiny Daiyya village, many families were left without food or crops to sell through the year.

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