Bangladesh is the world’s country most affected by the rising sea levels; it is estimated that in the (near) future 50 million people need to be evacuated to higher grounds. Being so densely populated, land is already very scarce. Already an estimated 6.5 million people have been displaced already due to climate change.
Bangladesh has known floods and cyclones for a long time. Usually when the water recedes, people can return to their homes and fertile land. Today the water often doesn’t recede. A combination of broken floodwalls and levees, storm surges and rising river waters caused extensive rainfall and melting Himalayan glaciers, keeps large stretches of land flooded or infertile due to seawater intrusion – leaving salt deposits and turning fresh water brackish.
It was proposed that people would be evacuated to the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a tribal area far too small to house so many ‘climate refugees’.
The alternative are the slums of cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, which are often also low-lying, leaving residents just as vulnerable as in the delta. In the end it is most likely that other countries will have to allow Bengali’s to immigrate.