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Geetu's story: climate change in Bangladesh

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Climate change is a reality for the fishermen of Char Atra, a river island on the great Ganges flood plain in Bangladesh. Whilst Bangladesh is a very poor country, these people are the poorest of the poor. Their life is hard, they depend on the water and yet it hurts them. People here have always been vulnerable to floods, having to move home as their island changes shape dramatically. But now, climate change is destroying lives. Floods are deeper and longer lasting, rainfall is erratic, and river erosion is increasing. These changes are having a damaging impact on poor farmers and fishermen. When the floods last too long, their crops are destroyed, and they can’t fish. "Because of floods, houses get damaged, the fishing boats get broken to pieces." "When there's flood, there’s a lot of wind, rain and waves and it's not possible to go out on the boat. We stay away out of fear." "I feel worried about my family a lot, if I die then what will happen to my children?”" Two years ago, the river washed away Geetu’s home and land. "Floods occur a lot in our area. As soon as the flood occurs it causes us a lot of harm." "Houses and doors fall down, trees get damaged, crops get destroyed." His family had to start again. But with his land gone, Geetu had no job and no way to provide for his family – a devastating blow to a proud family man. "When there's no work we feel angry. If we cannot work, then how do we eat?" With Oxfam’s support, Geetu joined a community savings group. "From here I took a loan and bought a boat, built a house and bought a cow. I’m much better off now." He’s already earned enough to pay back the loan. And now he has enough income to support his family through the next disaster, when it comes.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Dan Chung / Oxfam
Director: Dan Chung / Oxfam
Views: 156
Posted by: oxfamgb on Aug 11, 2009

Two years ago, the river washed away Geetu's home and land on Char Atra, a river island in Bangladesh. His family had to start again. But with his land gone, Geetu had no job, and no way to provide for his family – a devastating blow to a proud family man.

Climate change is a reality for fishermen like Geetu. Whilst Bangladesh is a very poor country, these people are the poorest of the poor. Their life is hard, they depend on the water and yet it hurts them.

Climate change is destroying lives here. Floods are deeper and longer lasting, rainfall is erratic, and river erosion is increasing. These changes are having a damaging impact on poor farmers and fishermen. When the floods last too long, their crops are destroyed, and they can't fish.

Get involved: www.oxfam.org.uk/hereandnow

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