Pre-test of sending area household survey at Jhapa Village of Satkhira, Bangladesh

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) carried out a pre-test survey on the DECCMA Sending Area Household Survey on 8-12 December, 2015 at Jhapa village of Shyamnagar, Satkhira, Bangladesh. A team of 9 researchers traveled to Satkhira, Bangladesh to conduct the survey.

The objectives of the pre-test were:

  1. To assess the effectiveness of the questionnaire in collecting information on migration and adaptation.
  2. To explore different issues related to sending survey questionnaire e.g., length of the interview, flow of logic, wording of the questionnaire, logistics issues etc.
  3. To produce a report on the questionnaire to assist northern team to modify the final questionnaire for sending household survey.

pretest of sending area household survey

Survey setting

A total of twelve households were interviewed during the pre-test survey. Among the households, 9 were migrant households and 3 were non-migrant households. From each household, the team interviewed two persons – one with the household head and another adult of opposite sex (except one household where the household head was migrant and no other adult family members were available). Altogether, the team interviewed 23 people(12 female and 11 male).

After the survey, a detailed report on the questionnaire was prepared and sent to the DECCMA Northern team to assist them to produce the final questionnaire. The report contained the issues encountered by field facilitators during the interviews. Among the issues, personality related questions, adaptation related questions and length of the survey were of major concerns. The average time of the survey varied from two and half hours to three hours. The report compiled every single comment made by the field facilitators to help the Northern team to enlighten the actual scenario of the pre-test.

The DECCMA Household Survey is scheduled to be rolled out to 1500 households within the delta study site in February and March 2016.

Findings from the District Level Stakeholders Workshop in Ramgoti, Lakshmipur, Bangladesh

district level stakeholder workshop

District level stakeholder workshop

DECCMA Bangladesh team organized 2nd District Level workshop at Ramgoti Upazila of Lakshmipur District on November 18, 2015. The objectives of the workshop were:

i. To explore migration, adaptation and governance issues of Ramgoti Upazila related to climate change.
ii. To compare the findings with the 1st District Level Workshop held at Khulna on August 31, 2015
iii. To sensitize different upazila/local level stakeholders about the DECCMA project

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) and Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET) jointly organized the workshop with the help of the local Upazila Nirbahi Office (UNO). There were 104 participants (69% Male and 31% Female) from different communities, government organizations, NGOs and media.

To conduct the group discussion, the participants were divided into five different groups: three community groups, one government officials and one media and NGO representatives. Each group was facilitated by a DECCMA member who collected the responses from the relevant group. A lively and informative group discussion took place which was later shared and validated among other groups through the oral presentation from different groups.

The responses from different stakeholders on different issues are as following:

Hazard types

  • River Erosion
  • Storm Surge
  • Cyclone
  • Water-logging
  • Salinity
  • Tidal Flooding
  • Drought
  • Sea level Rise

Migration patterns, reasons and destination


  1. Seasonal /Temporary
  2. Permanent
    a) Internal
    b) International (very low)
    c) One Family Member
    d) Whole family (The number is moderate or high when they migrate within the same upazila, but the number is very low when they migrate to other places e.g. other upazilas, district town and divisional towns)

1. River erosion
2. In pursuit of better life (voluntary)
3. Storm surge
4. Sea level rise
5. Temporary migration for climatic hazards
6. Lack of job opportunity

1. Upazilla (Sub-district)
a) Within same upazila: Char to Char
b) To other upazilas within the same district
2. District Town
a) Within the same district: Lakshmipur
b) To other districts (but not divisional town): Noakhali, Feni, Bhola
3. Divisional Town
a) Within same division: Chittagong
b) To other divisions (but not the capital): Barisal
4. Capital: Dhaka
5. International: Oman

Adaptation types, results and recommendations

1. Government Initiatives:
a) Resettlement Projects: Guchhogram, Asrayon project
b) Shelter Projects: Cyclone Centre, Killa
c) Protection Initiatives: Polders (Past), Bank protection measures, sluice gate (to reduce congestion)
d) Agricultural Intervention: Cultivation of flood tolerant rice variety,
e) Fishing Intervention: Restriction in fishing during breeding/reproduction season
Relevant Organizations/Projects: Prime Minister’s Office; Water Development Board; Department of Fisheries; Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO); Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP)

2. NGO Initiatives:
a) Resettlement Projects: Guchhogram, resettlement centres
b) Agricultural Intervention: Cultivation of hybrid crops
c) Advocacy Initiative: Awareness building
Relevant Organizations: Community Development Centre (CODEC); Centre for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS)

3. Self-initiatives:
a) Tree plantation in vacant land and mangrove forest
b) Change of Profession: (i) fisherman/farmer to rickshaw puller, Brick field workers, micro business; (ii) fisherman to farmer
c) Employment of Female Members: (i) garment workers in divisional town (Chittagong); (ii) local income earning activities: making caps, mats etc.
d) Raising livestock (hen, duck)
e) Raising plinth

4. Other Interventions:
a) Reserve rain water adjacent to Killa
b) Drinkwater from river using Phitkiri (Alum)

Result of Adaptation (Successful Adaptation/Maladaptation):

1. Successful Adaptation:
a) Meghna river bank protection
b) Asrayon project
c) Livestock farming (hen, duck)
d) Soybean cultivation
e) Women Employment: Cap making

2. Maladaptation:
a) Reducing depth of connecting canals/ water bodies
b) BishwaBeri

1. Inefficient money transaction
2. Insufficient funding
3. Lack of sustainability/proper planning
4. Lack of coordination with experts/interagency
5. Management and supervision

1. Increased height of the roads

Governance Issues

Existing Gaps/problems:
1. Embankment and river protection mechanisms are not efficient
2. Irregular river dredging
3. Inequitable distribution of resources
4. Lack of proper management of in resettlement interventions(Guchogram, resettlement centres)
5. Inefficient number cyclone centres andKilla
6. Lack of coordination in among different stakeholders in different development interventions
7. Lack of forest coverage

Gender Issues

1. Women’s Participation in income generation activities followed by disasters (garment worker, cap and mat making)
2. Fewer natural resources (firewood, vegetables, fruit) available to provide family members
3. Increased domestic (duck/ hen rearing) and financial responsibilities

Considerable number of participants from different stakeholder groups (government officials, NGOs, media personnel, community members) participated in the workshop and expressed their opinions willingly. Learning about the potential of DECCMA project, participants shared their knowledge with DECCMA Bangladesh team members without much reservation. Significant number of female participation also enlightened DECCMA Bangladesh with their concerns. Overall, the workshop provided DECCMA Bangladesh team with insightful and interesting information for their research activities.

3rd DECCMA Consortium Workshop, Ghana

3rd deccma workshop

Attendees of the workshop

DECCMA PI, Professor Robert Nicholls mentioned “Building the Consortium” as an important part of the functioning of the project and what better way to do it than organising face-to-face meetings for the entire consortium. The entire DECCMA consortium meets every six months, this time being the 3rd Consortium Workshop at Accra, Ghana. The Regional Institute of Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana (UoG), the lead institution for the DECCMA African team, hosted DECCMA members from Bangladesh, India, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

One might think that research project workshops only entail updating each other on research progress and discussing future research plans. DECCMA not only discussed these but also did much more. The first aim of the workshop was to refresh and reinforce relationships across the wider project, especially in work package teams and build on consortia development. This was achieved when the key members of the Northern team reached the University of Ghana a day ahead of the workshop to get better acquainted with the entire Ghanaian research team. Also, a day was dedicated to facilitate training sessions and discussions with respect to each work package. On 24th July 2015, members huddled around tables deep in discussion or diligently learning from the others during training sessions. This encouraged dialogues within the WPs with respect to delta-specific issues. As a part of the management team, I can proudly say that I attended my WP session outside the meeting venue at the steps in a garden. It was liberating in a way to discuss work yet not feel like doing work! A key outcome from this day was the clarification from each country team on the respective study areas. It was unanimously decided by all WP leads and member leads that administrative units in deltaic areas which are being dissected by the 5 metre contour line in each country shall be wholly considered as being in the DECCMA study area. The day closed with a cocktail dinner accompanied by live African music. The gentle evening breeze, Ghanaian food and the lively beats relaxed us after the long day.

The workshop officially kicked off on the 25th of July with Professor Samuel Codjoe, the DECCMA Ghana Lead, welcoming everyone to Accra and the University of Ghana. Prof Robert Nicholls then took everyone on a journey of the inception of DECCMA, right from its proposal drafting workshop in September 2013, through the kick-off workshop at Dhaka in June 2014, to the last workshop held in India in January 2015. He welcomed any new member attending the consortium workshop for the first time and asked the country leads to do the same from their respective country teams. He reintroduced DECCMA, its objectives, work package structure, aims and timeline to everyone and reminded us that we are 32% through! The reminder of the timeline helped everyone to reflect on the status of work being done. The goals and timetable of this workshop were reiterated. This was followed by formal presentations on the delta boundaries of the Bangladesh Delta, Indian Bengal Delta, Mahanadi Delta and the Volta Delta. The day then continued with presentations on the research progress of each work package (WP) where the WP leads either introduced the overall WP activities or summarised the discussions. The country teams presented on their WP progress and it was a good chance to learn about the commonalities and differences across the deltas. While governance and policies of each country are unique, the effect of climate change was common for all. Although the physical stressors varied from one delta to the other, the effects on the people were comparable. Analysing secondary data and literature reviews showed migration from the hotspot areas of these deltas and the observed adaptation options were also learnt. But stakeholder interactions, focus group discussions gave first-hand accounts of such results. These can be fully validated and more information can be garnered once the DECCMA team ventures out to conduct the household surveys. An effective dialogue between the WPs was initiated to facilitate incorporation of questions from each WP into the household survey questionnaire and also to enhance the integrated modelling framework which relies on inputs from all the other WPs. The day closed with the monthly closed meeting of the DECCMA Management Committee. This was followed by a sumptuous dinner at a local restaurant which also had a live band. It was the perfect setting for everyone to unwind after the day, and work took a backseat for most of us!

Workshops like these enhance working relationships and offer chances for better communication. The added advantage of hosting a workshop at a study area is that the wider project team gains a first-hand exposure to a new study site and on the 26th of July, the DECCMA team went for a field visit to the Volta delta. It was an enriching experience and good to see the Keta Sea Defense Project that is active in the region. As a student of humanities, African Literature had introduced me to the horrors of slave trade which was once dominant in the continent and the visit to Fort Prinzenstein etched it loud and clear in my psyche, the gruesome and inhuman past. The heart-wrenching echoes off the walls were louder than the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean. With lots of activities for us in the field visit, I did not get much time to ponder over this gloom. The team was taken to a farm where wind energy and biomass energy were effectively used and we got a chance to walk through pigsty, maize and shallot fields. The afternoon sun could have got the better of us had it not been for the refreshing tender-coconut water which was kindly served to us at the farm. Ghanaian hospitality at its best!

On the 27th of July, stakeholders from the Volta delta were present at the workshop. It was a nice gesture to begin the day with a prayer followed by an introduction to the CARIAA programme by Michele Leone and an introduction to DECCMA by Prof Robert Nicholls. The documentaries on each delta were shown, which was promptly followed by the climate change skit. It was a delight to watch such a serious issue being enacted in such a simple manner, which was easily relatable by any person, irrespective of their nationality. This was followed by presentations on related projects in each delta and this session also gave enough opportunity for discussion and learning. The next session had a reminder of the key project documents that every DECCMA member should be familiar with. The Research into Use and Theory of Change presentations made the country teams more eloquent with the way DECCMA envisages using RiU to better effect research. It was communicated that an effective RiU strategy should be developed based on the audience as different groups have different needs and engagement efforts should be made accordingly. The next slot dealt with adaptation and personally speaking I benefitted a lot from the interactive session based on identifying which activity would be adaptation, development, mitigation, coping or maladaptation. It made all of us think, debate and learn. This was followed by a discussion on the gender-sensitive approach in DECCMA and the team was reminded once again of the importance of including gender right from the beginning of the project.

The last day of the workshop had discussion on formulation of the expert advisory groups in each country and the future plans with respect to each WP. The research plans, publication plans and upcoming training workshops were all discussed and shared among the members. The workshop closed with a vote of thanks to the Ghanaian team for their hospitality and all the members for attending the workshop and making it a success.

The workshop was successful not only in terms of what was formally presented and discussed during the sessions but also when the members were scheduling catch-ups with one another during the tea-breaks and meals. The interactions were effective amidst the picturesque campus of the University of Ghana with its bountiful dose of greens and birds. I look forward to returning to Ghana but right now I am looking forward to meeting the DECCMA team at Southampton in January 2016!

Projecting fish production under climate change: A comparative analysis across three vulnerable deltas

projecting fish production

Work flow between Step 1 (data collection and comparative analysis) and Step 2 (modelling).

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) will be conducting a comparative analysis on the importance of fisheries for food security in the three deltas/regions: Volta (Ghana), Mahanadi (India) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (Bangladesh) and how climate change could potentially influence marine ecosystems productivity. Deltas communities are strongly dependent on coastal fisheries including shallow wetlands and other semi-enclosed bodies of water. In these three countries fishery is a very important sector and contributes between 4-5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite its importance for the local economy there are marked differences amongst countries, for example, the average per capita consumption (per year) of fish products varies with Ghana consuming the highest amount (25kg) followed by Bangladesh (14kg) and India (8.2kg). Delta communities are ranked amongst the poorest in the world and as a consequence potential impacts of global and regional climate change on the marine ecosystem productivity could have dramatic impacts on their economy and food security.

For the DECCMA project data will be collected from available database and literature to give information about fisheries (e.g. commercial species, time series data of catches, fishing and natural mortality, division between subsistence, artisanal and commercial fisheries) and socio-economic structure (e.g. number of fishermen, type of vessels, incomes/trades, consumption, livelihoods) in Ghana, Bangladesh and India. This part of the work will be conducted in liaison with local partners who will supply PML with local data whenever possible. This information will be summarised for the project report(s) and in published paper(s). The data collected and the information gained from the comparative analysis will support ecosystem modelling also carried out by PML. A model of water circulation and energy transfer (Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System – POLCOMS) will be coupled with a model of the low trophic levels (the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model – ERSEM) and fisheries models (size-spectrum and species based). The output from this framework will be fish production potential under climate change scenarios across the three delta/regions. Finally these results will inform other work packages in the DECCMA project (migration, integration, economics and adaptation).