Experience and perceptions of climate change-related hazards, and the dynamics of technology-based adaptations in water use in Bangladesh: the case of Satkhira communities

Thumbnail Image
Shehab, M. Kamruzzaman
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Climate-change-induced water scarcity has become a major threat to agriculture and livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries. To address this challenge, the adoption and implementation of adaptation measures have emerged as the most effective and viable approach. Individual perception significantly influences the willingness to adopt adaptation measures, where technology-based adaptation measures can mitigate the climate change-induced effects and help to build community resilience. The current study examined the local perceptions of climate change, the factors intensifying climate-induced stress on livelihoods, and the dynamics of technology-based adaptations that affect the availability of water for drinking, domestic, and agricultural purposes in the coastal communities of Bangladesh. Satkhira, a coastal district of Bangladesh, was chosen as the primary research location due to its high vulnerability to climate change. Empirical data were collected in Kaliganj Upazila of Satkhira District by using two participatory rural appraisal tools: key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Additionally, quantitative data were also collected via a household survey. Findings revealed that cyclones, floods, salinity intrusion, and waterlogging were the primary climate-related hazards. Climatic factors coupled with anthropogenic activities resulted in disruptions to the freshwater supply, causing severe water scarcity for drinking and irrigation. Locals are adapting by diversifying crops and growing climate-smart crops based on their experiences and perspectives. Adopting various technologies, including shallow tube wells, deep tube wells, rainwater harvesting, pond sand filters, reverse osmosis, low-lifting pumps, and deep submersible pumps, significantly reduced climate-induced water stress. Community-based organizations, neighboring community members, and electronic media played a critical role in the diffusion of technology. Affordability was identified as the crucial factor for the ability to use such technologies. While existing adaptation approaches fail short in addressing climate-induced stresses, the study emphasizes the importance of community engagement, equitable resource distribution, community-level knowledge enhancement in policy formulation, and equitable access to technology by all socioeconomic groups to achieve the desired outcomes of adaptation in coastal communities.
Water scarcity, Individual perception, Adaptation, Climate-related hazards