The lives of littoral people in Rehania

by Tamanna Nazneen

Rehania is a coastal village in Bangladesh on Hatiya Island, Noakhali.  Cyclone, coastal flood and water salinity are some of the common natural hazards in Rehania.  Recently, a research survey led by DECCMA (Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation), under RMMRU (Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit), has been held in this area.  For this reason, I had the great opportunity of going to Hatiya and observing the lifestyle of the people in the Rehania village.

Most of the people of Rehania are the victim of natural hazards like floods, river erosion and cyclones. They migrated here from other coastal areas of Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Bhola and Sandhwip (Chittagong). They lost everything from river erosion and cyclones. The Government re-housed them on the two sides of river dam and gave them a small amount of land per family but it was inadequate.


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There is a lack of effective livelihoods. At first, people earned their livelihood by farming and fishing but the farming lands in the surrounding areas are also affected by flooding, more than three times per year. Flood water is very saline here and as a result the farming land has become saline. During the dry season, a white layer of salt is visible on the land so farming becomes difficult.  Farmers grow Aaush paddy (a variation of paddy which grows in the summer and is harvested during the monsoon), chilli and ground nut but in most cases crops are destroyed because of flood and water salinity.

Due to global warming, sea levels are rising and salinity of the sea is entering up stream through rivers and feeder canals resulting in most of the farmers changing their livelihood.  In recent years, they earn their livelihood by fishing and doing other jobs through migration.  Seasonal migration is an important livelihood strategy to these families.  More than 70% of their incomes are derived from outside the village.  Most of the seasonal migrants work in brickfields in Chittagong under a contract and after a working season return home with their wages, of which a significant amount is spent buying fishing nets and boats (in share).  They also send some remittances for their family. Fishing is their monsoon season job and during dry season they always migrate for other work (in brickfields).

In Rehania, many women are self-employed doing animal husbandry.  They lease cattle and tend. In exchange, they get some money and can sell milk after giving a specific portion to the cattle owner.  When we went to Rehania village for the survey and wanted to interview them, at first, they thought we were government workers who had come to them for reporting about their life conditions, so that they could get their desired governmental help for materials for building more sustainable houses and a sanitary latrine. They were eager to take effective training about cultivation methods of flood prone areas and also wanted a subsidy for agriculture, saline water tolerant crop seeds and fishing materials.

When they came to know about our research and its aim, they became tamed, but most of them spread their helping hand and cordially responded to our questionnaire. Though their life is afflicted with lots of pain, they never give up their smiles and hospitality.  Whenever we went to any respondent’s house, they treated us with green coconuts, ground nuts, mangoes and whatever they had.  We were amazed with their cordial behaviour and realised again the hospitable nature of the Bangladeshi people.

We were also amazed with the children of Rehania. They were very interesting and curiously stared at us with our tablets and questionnaire papers. They wanted to follow us around but we insisted that they did not and instead go to their school. Whenever it was possible we offered them chocolates, biscuits and juice to have with us. They also gave us red hibiscus flowers. This flower is available in every house and roadside.

Natural disasters are a part of their life.  They always have to face it and struggle against it just like other littoral people. Naturally, they are brave and have adaptational capacities in such a hostile environment. They know how to keep their house safe from cyclones by planting banana and coconut trees around their houses.  For a better livelihood they migrate to other places and try to send remittances. They are optimistic about their life. They just want some help from the government to make their livelihood more sustainable.  The days may be hard, but their hopes and aspirations are never tamed. The always-smiling face is the symbol of their life spirit.

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Trees and tender-heartedness in Borguna

by Shihab

Nowadays, migration and climate change are talked about regularly. When a person goes from one place to another, this is called migration.  My long dream was to work for the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) and these days have been some of the greatest of my life.  During the field trip, as a supervisor, my main task was to supervise and monitor the field.

First of all, RMMRU selected a team which consisted of seven members (including myself).  My first trip was to Assassuni in the Satkhira Districts.  After a long journey, we arrived but when we disembarked from the bus, we faced different types of problems that came one after another. Due to the strong bond of my team, we overcame all the problems.  Every member of the team was kind and our sophisticated thinking allowed us to handle any type of problem easily.  After Assassuni, we went to Kaligong in Satkhira which was an excellent area.  After completing our work in Kaligong, we reached Satkhira Sadar.




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As usual, we awoke early in the morning and after breakfast went to the field but didn’t find anyone.  After searching, we came to the conclusion that there was a listing problem.  So, we came back to Dhaka with the work unfinished.  After four days rest, we went to Borguna which was very enjoyable compared to the other areas.  Every village was covered with trees and informants were so friendly.  Right now we miss those people.  That was the story of two fields, they are Hoglapasha and Borguna Sadar.  Gendamara was a very different field and also difficult.  I have never seen a village as large.  There were no transport systems in the whole village and villagers are used to walking, although we are not!  We worked easily and were enthusiastic about being there.  After completing the Taltoli field, we went to Patuakhali Kalapara, after which we got a one day vacation, which we used to visit Kuakata where you can watch the sunset and sunrise.  We saw some nice nature and water.  In this same way we finished our Patuakhali Sadar and Mirjagong field.  Banajora Boufol in Patuakhali was so different from the other places.  We encountered some folks who held strong views and this created some difficulties. Still, we enjoyed a full moonlit night with the river blows which was amazing. After four days rest, we prepared to go to a new field in Chandpur, which is known for being abundant with fish.  Above all, I like to describe my happy moments, however, I think I hold this memory in the corner of my heart.  Thanks to RMMRU for this excellent trip, I eagerly await the next opportunity.

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Migration & Adaptation: A Short Story of Khulna & Jessore

by Md. Niaz Murshed

Khulna is the third largest city in Bangladesh.  It is situated on the banks of the Bhairab and Rupsha rivers. It is also the centre point of the Khulna division. Khulna is also known for its port. This division consisted of ten districts and it is the gateway to the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans.  Mangla is home to an important port for Southwest Bangladesh.  It has fabulous natural beauty but the lifestyle is not so easy here: drought, cyclone and other weather events are a regular phenomenon.  With each day, the risks increase. The local people have to fight for water on a regular basis. Khulna is also in a dangerous point because of climate change. Experts think that the future will be worse than the present.

image001 Phultola is a village in Batiaghata Upazilla near Pashur river. Most of the population is educated. Some people are living in other cities because of their studies and employment, and some are living abroad. People are mainly involved with agriculture. They are producing seasonal fruits and crops including paddy, daal, several vegetables, etc. Most of the houses are made of wood and leaves. Some people are engaged with prawn cultivation. Drought and cyclone are the main natural disasters here. Because of the saltiness in the soil, agriculture is becoming increasingly difficult.

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Saral Ward of Paikgacha Upazilla is situated in the middle of the Upazilla and most of the people are permanent residents. They are mainly engaged with business, though some people are involved with prawn cultivation.

The devastating form of nature can be seen from Amurkata , a village of Soladana Union of Paikgacha. It is situated near the river, Shibsha. The village has poor communication systems. Van, motorcycle and various local vehicles are the main medium for transport.  For 2 pots of water, village women have to go three or four kilometres away from the village.  They don’t have proper drinking water or water for daily use. Most of the people work outside of the village.  Most of them go to Gopalganj or Khulna district for a job. During cultivation, men and women work together in the field.  Amurkata has huge lakes for prawns.  Those who have smaller fields cultivate prawns and crabs. Due to saltiness in the water, they do not have any other option for cultivation. Houses are made of several leaves and soil. Because of the cyclones, there is a school which can also be used as a cyclone centre.

image003Our second place was Jessore beside Kapataksha river which is linked to the poet Michael Madhushudan Dutta.  Jessore is one of the districts of Khulna and one of the oldest cities. It has eight Upazillas. During the British Raj period, Jessore was a “mahakuma”.
Kotoali, Bagharpara , Keshobpur and Manirampur were our workplaces. Bahadurpur of Kotoali Upazila had less risks. Sekandardarpur of Bagharpara and Panjia of Keshobpur are less affected by natural disasters. Only Diganga of Manirampur has the risk of flood, but it is not because of nature, it is because of drainage problems.

After observation on four Upazillas of Jessore we found that people are mainly involved with agriculture but they work in their own fields with different vegetables, paddy, mustard, daal and wheat. They produce fruit for a commercial purpose.

To have a good lifestyle, people work in the capital city, their own divisional city or abroad. For higher education many people live in cities.

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Senior Bangladeshi policy maker visits University of Southampton

By Alexander Chapman, University of Southampton

Professor Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary of the General Economics Division (GED), Government of Bangladesh visited the University of Southampton (24-25 August 2017) to continue our collaboration on several large delta-focused projects.

Prof Alam visit

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The severe flooding ongoing in Northern Bangladesh, which has destroyed an estimated 640,500 homes, highlights the threat the country faces from a wetter, more extreme, future climate. As head of GED Prof. Alam oversees the development strategy in Bangladesh, including the design of over 70 large projects associated with the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, the centrepiece of the country’s response to climate change.

In his meeting with Southampton’s Vice Chancellor & President, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, Prof Alam emphasised the importance of designing interventions which give consideration to the complexities of the social-ecological system of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta (GBM). In the low-lying GBM, where interactions with upstream developments, flooding and storm surges, and rural livelihoods are constantly changing actions can often have detrimental effects if not systemically analysed. Through three ongoing multi-million pound research projects the University of Southampton and its partner The Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) aim to provide integrated systems modelling support to the government. Our work will help stakeholders, drawn from a cross section of society, understand the impacts of future policy trajectories.

On day one of the visit Prof Robert Nicholls, Principle Investigator of the ESPA Deltas project, reported on our progress evaluating two of GED’s key coastal zone projects. The team are currently calibrating the ESPA Deltas model, ΔDIEM, ready to simulate development of large-scale coastal embankments and natural buffers in the Southwest region. In March 2018 ESPA Deltas will report on the poverty, livelihood, and ecosystem service implications of various different options being looked at in the Delta Plan. Looking forward, the DECCMA project, which has also placed great emphasis on stakeholder engagement, hopes to provide insight into different migration and adaptation policy trade-offs in the coastal region. Prof Alam is Chair of the Bangladesh National Advisory Expert Group within the DECCMA project – a group of key stakeholders that provides high level direction to the project.

On day two we discussed the projects’ legacies. In October Southampton will host a further representative from GED, as well as two researchers from BUET, as we aim to build in-country capacity to run and best utilise ΔDIEM and other integrated models for policy evaluation. Both building knowledge sharing and capacity building into ongoing projects, and ensuring a pipeline of technical and research projects into the future are important objectives for GED, who have strong ambitions for poverty reduction and livelihood improvement in Bangladesh. The team spent a productive afternoon with Ken de Souza of DFID discussing how to build legacy for the current work which, it is hoped, is only a test case to demonstrate what is possible with collaboration on integrated systems research projects.

It was a pleasure to welcome Prof. Alam to Southampton, his passion for achieving ambitious poverty reduction goals in such a challenging context, and his openness to challenging conventional approaches to policy were impressive. We look forward to working together further and playing our part in building in-country capacity which will hopefully serve Bangladesh long beyond the lifetime of our research there (which, with a bit of funding luck, still has a good few years left in it!).

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The lengths one must go for drinking water

by Aysha Akter Akhi

image003I went to Noakhali, Laxmipur, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jessore, and Gopalgonj for field surveys for the DECCMA project and gained so many experiences from this journey.  Among them, I can share the place called Amurkata of Paikgacha of the Khulna district where there is a scarcity of drinking water. This area of six or seven kilometres has no internal transport. People paddle from one part to another. The ground in that area is high in salinity. There are also very few trees and the weather is quite rough. People often travel three of four kilometres by foot to collect drinking water from a deep well which is placed in a “Local Bazaar.” Every day in the morning or evening, they go with one or two jars to collect water. In today’s age, this scenario is shocking to see.image001

Working with RMMRU on DECCMA; The memories I will not forget

by Rafiqul Islam, Research Assistant (RMMRU)

Life is full of experiences and I want to share my experience about the journey to perform research with RMMRU and about the memorable time I spent with my colleagues.

First, I want to give thanks to my Lord because I think I am so lucky to work with RMMRU for a few months. In those few months I have learned many things from RMMRU and from my colleagues.



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First, I went to Chandpur, Lakshmipur and Bhola to conduct household listing surveys. We faced some accommodation problems. My colleagues were very supportive and helpful to me as we overcame all sorts of problems regarding staying, eating, and travelling. I was one of the younger members of the team, so I received love from my senior brothers.  I am a jolly-minded person, so I can communicate with my respondents and my colleagues spontaneously but when we had to do the surveys, we had faced some problems because we had no female members in the group. When we reached each household, a few people were reluctant to participate in our survey but generally the majority were very helpful to us in our research. After completing these surveys, we returned to Dhaka.

In April, we left Dhaka again for another round of field work and to conduct interviews with selected respondents. This time I was in a new group. Our journey was good and we had 7 members on our team, including me. My partner was Tamanna Apu. Frankly speaking, at first I was not comfortable with her because her way of thinking and my way of thinking was a little bit different. Gradually we understood each other’s work and we became good friends for the purpose of the work. My other team members including Musabbir Bhai, Saiful and Roni Bhai, Ridita and Popy Apu were too good.  We had two members replacing Roni Bhai and Saiful were Himel and Tanjim Bhai. They were also friendly.  Every morning the females got up early in the morning, got ready quickly and were waiting for us.  All of these moments were so memorable for me and made for a very friendly work environment. This friendly attitude among the team members was not limited to the work but also in all spheres, generally, we got along as a team. I really will not forget those days.

Another memorable day was visiting our field work by Ricardo and Rocky Bhai in Lakshmipur.  I was little bit sick and nervous that day because Rocky Bhai scolded us for our mistake. At that moment I was sad but after, I realised that it was my fault. I always respect and love Rocky Bhai from the core of my heart undoubtedly. A most horrible experience occurred on 28th May 2016.  On that day we started our journey from Lakshmipur sadar to Bhola on a trawler ship, when suddenly a storm began.  All of us had begun to fear for our lives, but by the grace of almighty Allah we made it through. We have finished our journey through some ups and downs but in the end, the experience left me with one of the more significant memories in my life.

It was a great opportunity for me to work with a reputed organisation like RMMRU. Finally, I want to thank all the members of RMMRU.

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University of Ghana

Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe

Sam CodjoeProf. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe is an Associate Professor of Population Studies and the Director of the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, Legon. His research areas include population-environment nexus, migration, fertility, climate change/variability and its impact on urban and rural livelihoods.  Prof. Codjoe is the PI for Ghana on the DECCMA Project.

Prof. Kwasi Appeaning Addo

Kwasi Appeaning Addo newProf. Kwasi Appeaning Addo is a senior lecturer in coastal processes in the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana. His research areas include coastal vulnerability index to sea level rise, coastal erosion, climate change impacts, and shoreline change monitoring. Kwasi has published extensively in his area of research.  Prof. Appeanning Addo is the Deputy PI for Ghana on the DECCMA Project.

Gertrude Domfeh Owusu

Gertrude Domfeh newGertrude Owusu holds an MA in International Studies (specialisation – Women and Development) from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with Linguistics from the University of Ghana, Legon.  She has previously worked with ABANTU for Development, a gender rights and policy advocacy organisation, as the Governance Programme Manager. As part of the DECCMA team, she is responsible for co-ordinating the day-to-day activities of work packages within the DECCMA project in Ghana.

Dr Clifford Amoako

Clifford Amoako JohnsonDr. Clifford Amoako is a lecturer at the Department of Planning, KNUST- Kumasi, Ghana. He holds a PhD in Geography and Environmental Science from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) and an M.Phil degree in Planning from The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the same university where he obtained his B.Sc. Planning with First Class Honours.

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His research and professional persuasions, which date back to 2001, have been in urban and regional development planning, contemporary issues in climate change adaptation, community vulnerability and emerging responses to climate variability. He is capable of blending participatory appraisal techniques with structured methodologies to elicit stakeholder concerns on development projects in both urban and rural settings. He has full understanding of both local and international legislations/protocols and concepts that guide the preparation of Environmental Impact Assessments and Project Monitoring and Evaluation systems.  Clifford comes on board as the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) expert for the six work packages under the DECCMA project in the Volta Delta in Ghana. His key contribution is to produce and help implement an M&E system that defines standards, tracks project approaches and methods; and ensures participatory monitoring and evaluation of project achievements, results and impacts by all stakeholders. In achieving these tasks, he plays a catalyst role to support building M&E capacity, and together with the project team in Ghana, implement the M&E system, recommending adjustments to project efforts where necessary.

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Dr Cynthia Addoquaye Tagoe

Cynthia Addoquaye Tagoe newDr. Cynthia Addoquaye Tagoe is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Legon. Her research interests and experience are in migration, decentralisation, participatory approaches to governance, institutions and gender issues.



Prosper Adiku

Prosper Adiku newProsper Adiku holds an MPhil (Oceanography) from the Marine & Fisheries Sciences Department of the University of Ghana. Prosper is interested in vulnerability & hazard (flood) mapping, and Science Communications. He is the Technical Officer for the ‘Promoting Research into Use through Networking and Engagement’ (PRUNE) under the Ghana Country Engagement Group (G-CEG) of CARIAA. His main role is to support the implementation of the RiU strategies for the CARIAA consortia (ASSAR & DECCMA) in Ghana.

Dr. Barnabas Amisigo

Barnabas Amisigo newDr. Barnabas Amisigo is a Hydrologist/Water Resources Engineer with interests in hydrological modelling and integrated Water Resources Planning and management research, modelling the impacts of climate and environmental change on river basin water resources, data assimilation in hydrology, operational streamflow forecasting and flood and drought risk assessments in river basins. Dr Amisigo is the Ghana lead on Work Package 5 on the DECCMA Project.

Dr Mumuni Abu

Mumuni Abu newDr. Mumuni Abu is a lecturer at the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, where he teaches and provides mentorship to students in the area of technical and social demography. His interest areas are population projections and estimations; climate change, migration and health.  Dr Abu is a research scientist  working on Work Package 3 on the DECCMA project.


Dr. Benjamin Kofi Nyarko

Benjamin Nyarko newDr. Benjamin Kofi Nyarko is a Senior Lecturer and a Physical Geographer at the Department of Geography & Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast. His research interest is in fluvial geomorphology and application of spatial techniques in fluvial dynamics.  Dr Nyarko will be working on Work Package 5 on the DECCMA Project.


Dr Emmanuel Ekow Asmah

Emmanuel Ekow AsmahBeyond working as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, UCC for the past fifteen years, Dr. Emmanuel Ekow Asmah is a visiting lecturer and a network member of the Africa Economic Research Consortium and has in the past worked with the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings (US) as a Research Fellow and an Intern Macroeconomist with the World Bank Tanzania Office.

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His broad interests are in the Drivers of Development in Africa, mainly using household survey data and SAM-Based Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modelling Approaches. On the DECCMA project, Dr. Asmah supports the Work Package 4 team involved in the economic modelling of the impacts of climate change, with specific tasks ranging from the construction and calibration of delta level input-output (IO) to assistance in the prediction of prices of tradeable agricultural commodities and other key outputs under different climate scenarios for 2030, 2060 and 2100.

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Dr. Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei

PrinceDr. Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei holds a PhD in Geography and Rural Development. His research interest and experiences are on Local Governance and Rural Development, Livelihoods and Poverty Studies.  He is currently a Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Rural Development, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.  Dr Adjei is the Ghana lead on Work Package 4 on the DECCMA Project.


Dr. Joseph Kwadwo Asenso

Joseph AsensoDr. Joseph Asenso is the Head of the Energy/Oil and Gas Unit of the Real Sector Division, Ministry of Finance. He is responsible for the annual projection of the Government’s petroleum revenue, reporting on petroleum revenues and general coordination of petroleum revenue-related activities. He also coordinates the national GDP projection exercise.  Dr Asenso will be focusing on Work Package 4 on the DECCMA Project.


Francisca Martey

Francisca MarteyMrs. Francisca Martey is a Senior Meteorologist and Researcher in the Research Department of the Ghana Meteorological Agency and has expertise on issues of climate change, climate variabilities and climate scenarios in Ghana. She is also interested in Numerical Weather Prediction models for nowcasting and seasonal forecasting.  Francisca is working on Work Package 2 on the DECCMA project.


Winfred Nelson

Winfred Nelson newMr. Winfred A. Nelson holds an MPhil Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK and is a member of the Ghana Institute of Planners. He is currently a Deputy Director at the National Development Planning Commission, responsible for the mainstreaming of environment issues into the national development planning and budgeting processes. Winfred will be working on Work Package 1 on the DECCMA project.


Dr. Adelina Mensah

Adelina Mensah newDr. Adelina Mensah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana. Her main areas of research include the varying complexities of inland and coastal aquatic systems, including inter-linkages with socio-economic drivers and sustainable management; and vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.  Dr Mensah is the Work Package 6 Lead for Ghana on the DECCMA Project.


Prof. Ofori-Danson Patrick Kwabena

Ofori Danson Patrick Kwabena newProf. Ofori-Danson is a fisheries resource scientist with an interest in fisheries assessment and management.   He was awarded the 2010 best teacher award for the sciences from the University of Ghana.  As a member of the National Biodiversity Committee he has been involved in many policy decisions concerned with aquatic wildlife conservation issues to the Ghana government.  Prof. Kwabena is working on Work Package 4 on the DECCMA Project.



Philip-Neri Jayson Quashigah

Philip Neri Jayson Quashigah newPhilip-Neri Jayson-Quashigah is a PhD student in the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana, with skills in coastal zone monitoring using remote sensing and GIS. He holds an MPhil in Environmental Science and is currently researching on delta morphodynamics on the DECCMA Project.



Donatus Yaw Atiglo

Donatus Yaw Atiglo is a PhD student in Population Studies at the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, with research experience on gendered dynamics and reproductive health. His current research interests include vulnerability to environmental change, trapped populations, migration and gendered population dynamics on the DECCMA Project.


Kirk Anderson

Kirk Anderson newKirk Anderson is a demographer with eight years experience, particularly in the area of fertility. He is a PhD candidate on the DECCMA Project with research interest in the climate change adaptation options available to individuals within the Volta Delta in the context of demographic, cultural and socio-economic change.


Jennifer Ayamga

Jennifer Ayamga new

Jennifer Ayamga holds an MPhil in Environmental Science and is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Science on the DECCMA project. Her research interest is in climate change and integrated assessment of sensitivity, exposures of communities and their adaptive capacity of socio-economic and biophysical systems to climate change in the Volta Delta.


Ruth Quaye

Ruth Quaye newRuth M. Quaye holds an MPhil in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the University of Ghana.  Her main areas of interest include climate change adaptation, institutions, gender and sustainable development.  Ruth is currently working with Work Package 1 of the DECCMA Ghana Project as a Research Assistant.


Gwendolene Asare-Konadu

Gwendolene Asare KonaduGwendolene Asare-Konadu is a member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG). She has worked on several donor-funded projects and has been responsible for multi-funded budgets ranging from $10,000 to $1,400,000. She is currently on the DECCMA team as Project Accountant.

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka

Prof. Md. Munsur Rahman

Munsur Rahman newProfessor Md. Munsur Rahman, during his 24-year professional career, has conducted research on morphological processes in tidal and non-tidal rivers, growth of char land resources and livelihood strategies, river-bank erosion protection and social response. Currently, he is leading several international collaborative research projects focusing on ecosystem service-poverty alleviation linkages, climate change vulnerability and adaptation in deltaic settings, and disaster prevention/mitigation measures against floods and storm surges, in which the fundamental approach integrated assessment of bio-physical and socio-economic processes.  He is the Principal Investigator and lead for Work Package 5 on DECCMA.

Prof. Mashfiques Salehin

Mashfiques Salehin newProfessor Mashfiqus Salehin has been working in both technical and interdisciplinary research areas, focusing on a variety of issues, including basin scale hydrologic modelling, hydrodynamics of exchange processes between river and groundwater, hydro geologic analysis of coastal aquifers, groundwater and seawater intrusion modelling, flood hazard, vulnerability and risk analysis, harmonisation of multiple uses of water resources, assessment of ecosystem service-poverty alleviation linkages, biophysical vulnerability of coastal hazards and implications to water and food security, and trans boundary river water management.  He is the Deputy Principal Investigator and lead on Work Package 1 for DECCMA.

Md. Anisur Rahman Majumdar

Anisur Rahman MajumdarMd. Anisur Rahman Majumdar is the Bangladesh Project Coordinator for DECCMA. Prior to this, Anis worked in different national and international organisations in administrative sectors and has completed his MBA at the University of Wales, Institute of Cardiff, in International Business.  He is working on Work Package 0 for DECCMA.


Prof. Rezaur Rahman

Rezaur Rahman newDr. Rezaur Rahman is a Professor at the Institute of Water and Flood Management at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He is a Civil Engineer by discipline with a research focus on water and environment. He was involved in the preparation of National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA), Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) and UNFCCC 2nd country communication.  Professor Rahman is acting co-lead for DECCMA’s Work Package 6, which will identify and evaluate feasible and acceptable planned and autonomous adaptations in the three deltas.

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Prof. Anisul Haque

Anisul Haque newProf. Anisul Haque is a Civil Engineer at BUET, Bangladesh specialising in Computational Fluid Dynamics. In his Ph.D from K.U. Leuven, Belgium, he worked on turbulence in stratified tidal medium. His main research interests are marine and estuarine processes, delta dynamics, basic hydraulics and numerical models. At present, he is working as a Professor at IWFM, BUET.  In DECCMA, he is working in Work Package 2 where he is the joint country lead. The main objective of this Work Package is to understand and map biophysical factors affecting vulnerability. Under this objective, Hot Spot maps showing out migration for present day condition and for future climatic scenarios will be developed.

Prof. A Fazal M Saleh

Fazal Saleh.jpgProf. A. Fazal M. Saleh is a water resources engineer with interest in irrigation and water management. He is involved in Work Package 2 which deals with characterising the bio-physical impacts of climate change on agricultural production systems and land-use.


Prof. Shahjahan Mondal

Shahjahan MondalProfessor Shahjahan Mondal specialises in climate change and hydrology, agricultural water management, risk-based planning and water governance, has been involved in several national and regional collaborative action research and consultancy projects focusing peri-urban water security, urban vulnerability and adaptive capacity, disaster impact on agricultural value chain, and technical and socio-economic aspects of flood shelters. He has received formal training in IWRM and interdisciplinary field research methodology. Professor Mondal is mostly involved in Work Package 6, which is on adaptation, and currently looking at the adaptation practices in the GBM Delta. He is also involved in the governance component of Work Package 2.

Prof. Mohammed Abed Hossain

Abed HossainProf. Mohammed Abed Hossain is an environmental engineer with interest primarily on transport of pollutants in a multi-cascade system and climate change impact on environment. He has been involved in researches on industrial waste treatment, stochastic hydrological modelling, modelling of residual flow and salinity, etc. During his PhD at University of Tokyo, Abed investigated the competitive adsorption mechanisms of heavy metals in soil and sediments. Abed is a co-researcher in DECCMA’s Work Package 6. He is also involved in DECCMA’s Work Package 2 where he will deal with the GAEZ database development and maintenance, and handle meta data for the Bangladesh team. He is also involved in Work Package 1 in limited capacity.

Rashedul Islam

Rashedul IslamMd. Rashedul Islam has completed his B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering at BUET. He is currently pursuing his M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering in BUET.  He is the project coordinator of the ESPA Deltas for Bangladesh.  Rashed is working as a co-investigator in DECCMA’s Work Package 2 on hotspot map analysis and to quantify vulnerability weightage for various climate change parameter issues.

Momtaz Jahan

Momtaz JahanMomtaz Jahan is a Water Resources Engineer from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. She worked on the dumping characteristics of bank protection materials in her undergraduate thesis. She has worked on ESPA Deltas Project and Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre. Currently her main research interest is around different climate change issues in the water related sector.  Momtaz Jahan is a Masters fellow and working for Work Packages 2 and 5.

Rubaiya Kabir

Rubaiya KabirRubaiya Kabir is a PhD Civil Engineering from the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Bangladesh. Her research study was on the Management of Buriganga Watershed as a Bachelors degree thesis. Rubaiya has worked on ESPA Deltas Project in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) as a Research Assistant. Her keen interest is to work and research in the water sector.  Rubaiya is a Masters fellow and working onDECCMA’s Work Package 2.

Debanjali Saha

Debanjali SahaDebanjali Saha completed her B.Sc. degree in Water Resources Engineering at BUET. She is currently pursuing her M.Sc. degree in Water Resources Development in IWFM, BUET. She is conducting research on the prospect of dry season crops in the south-western coastal area of Bangladesh under climate change scenarios.  Debanjali is working as a co-investigator in DECCMA’s Work Package 6.

Muhammad Shahriar Shafayet Hossain

Muhammad Shahriar Shafayet HossainMuhammad Shahriar Shafayet Hossain is a Masters Student of Water Resources Development in IWFM (BUET). He has graduated in Water Resources Engineering from BUET in 2014. His undergraduate thesis title is “A Study on the Morphological Changes of Rivers Around Vicinity of Chandpur Town & Assessment of Its Bank Protection Works”. His main fields of interest are River Engineering, Hydraulic Modelling and Coastal Zone Management. He is a Research Assistant, working on Work Package 6 for the DECCMA Project.

Rabeya Akter

Rubaiya AkterRabeya Akter is working as a Research Assistant in Work Package 2 of the DECCMA project. Her research interests lie in the field of climate change related issues, remote sensing and GIS and Hydraulic and numeric modelling. Prior to this, she worked as a Research Assistant on a Post Graduate Disaster Management Program (PPDM) at BRAC University. She graduated from the Urban and Regional Planning Department of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Shanjida Noor

Shanjida NoorShanjida Noor is completing her post graduation in Water Resource Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management (BUET). Prior to this she completed her graduation in Environmental Science from the Asian University for Women. Her thesis work was on ‘Introducing feasible waste water treatment processes in Bangladesh using Trametes versicolor, sugarcane bagasse and water hyacinth“.  She has intense research interest on climate change issues, adaptation strategies, hydraulic and numeric modelling, remote sensing and GIS.  She is working as a DECCEMA research fellow on Fluvio-Tidal Flood and Survey Component (Work Package 2).

Meer Ahemed Tariqul Omar

Tariq Omar newMeer Ahemed Tariqul Omar, PhD Fellow, DECCMA, completed his graduation in Urban and Rural Planning in 1996. He did his masters in Water Resources Management from the University of Adelaide in 2012.  His dissertation was on Urban Water Balancing model for projected urban growth of Adelaide Metropolis for 2008-2038. Mr. Omar completed another Masters in Development Studies.  He is a PhD fellow and involved in Work Package 6 under the DECCMA Project at BUET.

Arif Chowdhury

Arif ChowdhuryArif Chowdhury has completed an honors program from Chittagong University. He is interested in research activities and would like to work in the environmental sectors.  He is the founder co-ordinator of a non-governmental organisation named “Youth Volunteer of Environment” and attends several national and international programs.  He is working as a research assistant on the DECCMA project.

Shamrita Zaman

Shamrita ZamanShamrita Zaman completed her B.Sc in Civil Engineering at Khulna University of Engineering and Technology. She has worked as an Assistant Engineer at a project named ECRRP, LGED, where she observed clearly how the people are distressed because of the naturally made climate disaster. She has an interest in research programs on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Her B.Sc thesis was on finding the degradation rate of organic waste mixing with compost.  She is working under Work Package 1 on the DECCMA project.

Manjurul Hussain Shourov

Manjurul Hussain Shourov newMd. Manjurul Hussain graduated in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Currently, he is doing his MSc in Water Resources Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh. His main fields of interest are statistical analysis, GIS, remote sensing and climate change.  Md. Manjurul Hussain Shourov is a Research Assistant, working on Work Package 5 for the DECCMA Project, which will develop methods to assess adaptation choices in deltas, with a strong focus on migration.

Delowar Hossain

Delowar HossainDelowar Hossain is a Civil and Environmental Engineer from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. Presently, he is pursuing his M.Sc. degree in Water Resources Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET.  His research interests are numerical modelling, GIS, remote sensing and hydrological modelling.  He is working as a research assistant for the DECCMA project on Work Package 2. His main task is to run the flow model and provide information about the fluvio-tidal flooding.

Mahmida Tul Urmi

Mahmida Tul UrmiMahmida Tul Urmi is a Civil and Environmental Engineer from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet. She is currently pursuing her M.Sc. Degree in Water Resource Development (WRD) from IWFM, BUET, Dhaka. Her main fields of interest are River and Coastal Morphology, Climate Change Impact on Water Resources, Hydrology and Climate modelling, etc. Mahmida Tul Urmi is a Research Assistant, working on Work Package 2 for the DECCMA Project, which will examine the vulnerability, environmental stressors and hazards of a range of climate change and biophysically driven scenarios across the four study deltas.

Md. Aminul Islam Khan

Aminul Islam KhanMd. Aminul Islam Khan has completed his BSc degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Currently, he is doing his MSc in Water Resources Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh. His main fields of interest are rainfall trend analysis, statistical analysis, GIS and remote sensing, climate change, river discharge, contamination source identification and sensor placement in water distribution network, water quality assessment, phytoremediation, etc. Md. Aminul Islam Khan is a Research Assistant, working on Work Package 2 and Work Package 5 for the DECCMA Project.

Anika Tahsin

Anika TahsinAnika Tahsin is a civil and environmental engineer with a research interest in water and environmental sectors. She has completed her graduation from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet. Currently she is pursuing her M.Sc. degree in Water Resources Development at IWFM, BUET. Anika is working on Work Package 2 for the DECCMA Project, which will geographically define the key hazard / environmental stressor components. Her main task is to run the flow model.

Faisal Mahmood

Faisal MahmoodFaisal Mahmood is a Water Resources Engineer with an interest in understanding how rural and urban communities respond to climate change. Faisal mainly focuses on mitigation and development in subsistence communities in Water Resources Sectors in Bangladesh. River bank erosion, Flood Risk Management and Remote Sensing and GIS is the primary research interest of Faisal. Currently he is ongoing with his M.Sc in (WRD) in Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET.  Faisal is acting as a researcher on Hydrotrend model in DECCMA project, which is required to predict the sediment flux and discharge of GBM basin. The result analysis further leads to predict the climatic vulnerability and adaption in the catchment areas of the basin.

Sadmina Razzaque

Sadmina RazzaqueSadmina Razzaque is a Civil and Environmental Engineer from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.  Presently, she is pursuing her M.Sc. degree in Water Resources Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET.  Her research interests are numerical modelling, GIS, remote sensing and hydrological modelling.  She is working as a research assistant for the DECCMA project on Work Package 2. Her main task is to run the flow model.

Imtiaz Hossain

Imtiaz HossainImtiaz Hossain graduated in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Currently, he is completing his MSc in Water Resources Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh. His main fields of interest are river and coastal morphology, climate change impact on water resources, hydrology and climate modelling, etc.  Imtiaz Hossain is a Research Assistant, working on Work Package 2 for the DECCMA Project, which will examine the vulnerability, environmental stressors and hazards of a range of climate change and biophysically driven scenarios across the four study deltas.

Tansir Zaman Asik

Tansir AsikTansir Zaman Asik has completed his BSc. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Gazipur, Bangladesh. Currently, he is pursuing his MSc. degree in Water Resources Development in the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh. His main fields of research are remote sensing and GIS, hydraulic and numeric modelling, climate change related issues and mitigation and adaptation policies.  He is working on Work Package 2 of the DECCMA project.

Dewan Sadia Karim

Dewan Sadia KarimDewan Sadia Karim is an urban planner and has a personal interest in understanding how vulnerable rural and urban communities are to climate change.  Before joining DECCMA, Dewan did research on how to improve living conditions of rural people via social business.  She is working as a research assistance for DECCMA’s Work Package 2, which will identify the vulnerable and risk prone areas subject to four types of hazard, in the three deltas.

Nishat Tasnim Priyanka

Nishat Tasnim Priyanka is currently pursuing her M.Sc. in Water Resource Development at the Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET.  She is a Civil and Environmental Engineer from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet. Her undergraduate thesis was on Slope Stability Analysis of Sylhet City using Landslide Possibility Index (LPI) and Limit Equilibrium Method.  Her research interests are GIS, remote sensing and numerical modelling. She is working as a Research Assistant on DECCMA’s Work Package 2.

Mashrekur Rahman

Mashrekur Rahman received his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 2014 and his M.Sc. degree in Water Resources Development in October 2016. He has a number of scientific conferences, journal, book chapter publications and numerous newspaper columns based on his research. Mashrekur’s current research interests include remote sensing, GIS, hydrodynamic modelling, environment, aquaculture, wetlands and water management in drought-prone regions.  Mashrekur is currently working on Work Package 5 of the DECCMA project. He is also playing an active role in DECCMA’s Research-Into-Use.

Gender and Climate Change addressed for the first time at the XV National Conference on Women’s Studies, India

Inaugural session of the conference

Inaugural session of the conference

Gender and women’s rights are being increasingly addressed worldwide through movements and media, which are inspired by the realm of women’s studies. While this change is a welcome one, it also has to be kept in mind that the challenges and disparities still remain and a long way has to be traversed. At this juxtaposition of phenomenon, the Indian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS) organised the XV National Conference on Women’s Studies at the University of Madras, Chennai from 22 – 25 January 2017 with a theme “Women in a Changing World: Restructured inequalities, counter currents and Sites of Resistance”.

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The conference had a number of sessions focussing on themes related to women’s issues however the theme on “Gender and Climate Change” was introduced for the first time in an IAWS conference. Dr Amrita Patel (DECCMA) and Prof Nitya Rao (ASSAR) were the convenors of this sub-theme. Dr Patel chaired General Sessions, Prof Rao chaired sessions on Energy and Adaptation and Prof Asha Hans (DECCMA) also chaired a session on Flood and Deltas.

With two members from Sansristi as Session-chairs and four researchers as paper-presenters, DECCMA objectives and research undertaken were disseminated well. Brief summaries of the presentations are as follows:

Farha Naaz (Centre for Environment and Development) presented a paper titled “Climate Change and Adaptation: Strategy and coping mechanism – Role of women Self Help Groups in Indian Bengal Delta”. The presentation was based on the work done earlier by CED but the study area is a part of the DECCMA Study Area. DECCMA research studies the impacts of climate change on deltaic populations and involves having baseline knowledge on migration and adaptation initiatives taking place in the study areas and this study corroborates that. The presentation discussed the post-2009 Cyclone Aila scenario in IBD where male migration is on the rise as the delta in becoming increasingly vulnerable and the women who are left behind are tasked to take on more responsibility of the household looking after both the elderly and the children. In such a situation, Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) started acting as powerful means of social development and an important tool of micro financing. The scheme of micro financing through SHGs has given significant economic power to the hands of women thereby elevating the economic status of their families.

Gender and climate change session in progress

Gender and climate change session in progress

Jasmine Giri (Sansristi) presented a paper titled “Climate change effects on women: a case study of Odisha”. DECCMA has a strong focus on gender in its research components and this presentation based on secondary analysis examined the impact of disasters on women’s livelihood in Jagatsingpur district of Odisha. The paper relied on secondary data to identify the impact of disasters in the district and its effect on women’s livelihood, particularly after the super cyclone Kalinga in 1999. The dominant livelihood in Jagatsingpur area is agriculture and fisheries and thus the community, specifically the women are vulnerable to the slightest changes in the availability or access to these natural resources. The coping mechanisms adopted by women in such a situation were also shared.

Sukanya Banerjee (Centre for Environment and Development) presented a paper titled “Climate Change and Male Migration: Role of Women in the Changed Environ”. During the presentation, DECCMA’s overview was shared followed by the adverse impacts of Climate Change on the vulnerable Indian Bengal Delta (IBD) and its people. This presentation was also based on work done earlier by CED but the study area is a part of the DECCMA Study Area and the study was adapted to this presentation to throw light on DECCMA’s research questions pertaining to migration. The paper primarily focused on the fact that cyclone Aila wreaked havoc in IBD in 2009 as a result of which many people lost their livelihoods and 50% of able bodied males were compelled to migrate out of their homes to as many as 10 different states in India to work as unskilled labour in the real estate sector. The regular remittances which they send to their families as a result of this ‘climate induced’ migration has brought about a significant change in the social construct of the area. The women of the households were suddenly burdened with a new sense of responsibility in the form of being the new household heads in the absence of the male members of their families. The need for empowerment of women was also focused on to adapt to climate change.

Sumanta Banerjee (Chilika Development Authority) presented a paper titled “Linking Women Empowerment, Resilience in the context of Climate change: A case study of Bhusandapur in the shore of Chilika lake of Odisha” which aimed to conceptualize and understand the links of women’s empowerment and resilience in the context of the climate change. This presentation was based on Focus Group Discussions conducted in Bhusandapur village of Tangi block in Khordha district of Odisha. The environmental fragility of the study area was explained in the context of indicators of climate variability and then with the help of women’s empowerment framework by Longwe (1995), the paper looked at resilience as the result of absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities. The absorptive and adaptive capacities responses were captured and subsequently with the help of an example the transition phase of the Bhusandapur village was explained. Then, the successful case study of tent-house and Dry-fish business led by women’s organization in the context of climate change adaptation was linked with the primary objective of the study.

All the researchers felt that interactions with other researchers and attending relevant lectures helped them to gain a deeper understanding on the issues plaguing women in a changing world, be it employment, inequalities, discrimination, violence or women farmers (labour, livelihoods and resource rights). Case studies as shared by the speakers helped to bring together instances from across the country to one platform. In the theme Session 10 on Climate Change, discussions focussed on the impacts of climate change on health, socio economic conditions, particularly on women, and the risks and vulnerabilities that women face in the context of climate change. Adaptation strategies, coping mechanisms and approaches of mitigation were also discussed. This theme did not have as many presentations as compared to the other themes which may throw some light on the need to bring attention to the emerging issue of how a changing climate can have differential impacts based on gender. However, akin to a baby’s first step where the effort has to be continued to make sure the wobbliness disappears, this effort of addressing gender and climate change has to be continued to make our concerns visible.

This post was written with contributions from reports written by Dr Amrita Patel, Prof Nitya Rao, Ms Farha Naaz, Ms Jasmine Giri, Ms Sukanya Banerjee and Mr Sumanta Banerjee.

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Training opportunities availed by Indian researchers

Besides creating learning opportunities for its members, the DECCMA project also encourages them to make use of opportunities provided by institutes external to the project. Training opportunities help researchers to garner new knowledge and implement the lessons in their ongoing research.

Two researchers from the DECCMA-Indian Team, Dr Somnath Hazra & Subhajit Ghosh attended two trainings each during the past two months. While attending the trainings organized by the DECCMA consortium, the researchers were aware where in the project the knowledge will be utilised. For the trainings organized by other institutes, the knowledge provided a foundation for further learning and it helped them think about the applicability of the training in their DECCMA research areas. Continue reading