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The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters$
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Debarati Guha-Sapir and Indhira Santos

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841936.001.0001

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Urban and Nonagricultural Impacts of Flooding and Their Assessments

Urban and Nonagricultural Impacts of Flooding and Their Assessments

The Case of Bangladesh

(p.269) 12 Urban and Nonagricultural Impacts of Flooding and Their Assessments
The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters

K. M. Nabiul Islam

Oxford University Press

The major objective of this chapter is to acquire a sound knowledge of the magnitude of major urban and non-agricultural impacts of flooding in Bangladesh, so that consistent well-informed decision-making is possible in relation to flood action. Climate change may lead to a further increase in already rapid rates of urbanization through rural migrations and the coastal areas will come increasingly under threat, especially from tidal floods, which can be very destructive. On average, the poorest households suffer nearly 4, 5 and 3 times as much, compared to those suffered by the richest households, in river, flash and tidal floods respectively. Hence, in Bangladesh, and perhaps in most other developing countries, natural hazards such asfloods not only enhance poverty but they may help widen the income gap between the rich and the poor. The primaryand long run indirect effects of floods on the poor need to be taken into careful consideration when formulating mitigation plans. Non-structural flood defence measures have to be given emphasis because such measures have enormous damage-reducing effects. Bangladesh, perhaps, has little option but to live with floods but it is important that they are managed successfully. Adequate attention needs to be given to urban flood hazards, especially in the context of potential ‘disaster vulnerabilities’ due to the rapid urbanization process, flawed development activities and climate change.

Keywords:   nonagricultural impacts, assessments, vulnerability, poverty, climate change, flood management policy

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