June 15, 2023

Salinity & Productivity: Is There a Link? Impact of Climate Change in Coastal Areas of Bangladesh.

The study “Salinity & Productivity: Is There a Link? Impact of Climate Change in Coastal Areas of Bangladesh” investigates the relationship between salinity intrusion and productivity in the context of climate change in coastal regions of Bangladesh. This comprehensive research aims to understand the impact of rising salinity levels on agricultural productivity, natural resources, and the livelihoods of communities residing in these vulnerable areas.

The study employs a multidisciplinary approach, combining scientific data, field observations, and community interviews to assess the extent of salinity intrusion and its consequences. It examines the changes in soil quality, water resources, and crop production patterns resulting from increased salinity levels, as well as the socio-economic implications for local communities.

Through comprehensive data analysis and modeling, the study explores the direct and indirect impacts of salinity on agricultural productivity and coastal ecosystems. It assesses the adaptive strategies employed by communities and identifies potential interventions to mitigate the negative effects of salinity intrusion.

Furthermore, the research investigates the role of climate change in exacerbating salinity intrusion in coastal areas. It examines the connection between sea-level rise, storm surges, and increased salinity, highlighting the need for climate adaptation measures to protect livelihoods and ecosystems in these vulnerable regions.

The study also considers the policy implications and recommendations for sustainable development and resilience building in coastal areas. It emphasizes the importance of integrated approaches that combine community engagement, technological innovations, and policy interventions to address the challenges posed by salinity intrusion and climate change.

Overall, this research sheds light on the link between salinity and productivity, providing valuable insights into the impacts of climate change in coastal areas of Bangladesh. It serves as a call to action for stakeholders, policymakers, and communities to work together in developing effective strategies and policies to build resilience, protect livelihoods, and ensure sustainable development in the face of salinity intrusion and climate change challenges.

The objective of this study is to understand the public health and economic effects of salinity intrusion. The study may help us to explore the consequences better—facilitating appropriate planning for adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Project Background: Globally about 600 million people are dwelling in low-elevated coastal zones, and those will soon be a victim of progressive salinization—due to climate change-induced sea-level rise. We know from available research that the sea level may be elevated by a meter or more by the end of the twenty-first century—potentially making one billion people vulnerable.

While climate change research predominantly focused on inundation and damages from surges and hurricanes, slow and steady threats like salinity from seawater intrusion could be another vital terror worth consideration. Groundwater salinity has important consequences on livelihoods and could potentially create public health hazards through its impacts on agriculture, aquaculture, infrastructure, coastal ecosystems, and the availability of freshwater for household and commercial use.

Methods: Multi-methodology has been designed for this study. These are quantitative & qualitative data collection, and salinity measurement in a scientific method.

Description: MOMODa FOUNDATION collected drinking water salinity data from 20 Jutes mills from Khulna & Bagerhat districts. MOMODa also collected salinity data from 80 households of jute mill workers in the same areas and also obtained permission from the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) to conduct the study at their affiliated factories.

Besides, MOMODa obtained positive consent from six jute mills to conduct the study at their factories. The plan is to conduct a year-round comparative study to measure the variation in productivity and health status in comparison to salinity. MOMODa also randomize (RCT) 600 jute mill workers from six jute mills and collect highly frequent health data and water salinity data for the research.

Findings: The research project is now at the preliminary stage; we will publish the findings from time to time.

Research Area: Climate Change

Donor Agency: J-PAL (K-CAI) and PEDL

Geographical Location: Khulna, Bangladesh

Timeline: April 2022 to June 2023

Status: Ongoing (Preparatory stage)

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Abu S. Shonchoy of Florida International University (FIU)

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