The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management
Indigenous Knowledge for Community Resilience Against Seasonal Flooding: The Case of Southeastern Coast of Bangladesh

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJKM31910
Author Name : Prabal Barua and Syed Hafizur Rahman
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 21



The scale of environmental challenges that our planet faces is best mirrored by its effects on the local communities. One of the most affected groups of people is the coastal communities of Bangladesh that are often exposed to various environmental threats simultaneously. Their response to these environmental threats eventually determines the level of damage, which in turn illustrates the severity of the threat. Therefore, efficient coping is the key, and understanding how coping strategies are constructed is of crucial importance in hazard mitigation. Qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews and participant observation were used in the course of the current study. Of the three types of coping strategies (prevention, adaption and migration), prevention was found to be mostly employed by households that are less exposed to risk, while adaption and migration were common strategies at the most exposed households. Based on the interview results and the participant observation, three coping profiles were created with regard to the level of vulnerability. It was found that the strategies are dynamically changing, and a continuous coping development path was identified from the most vulnerable stages till the least vulnerable ones. Thus, it is crucial to approach these strategies as stages of a long and natural process, rather than as stationary attributes of the population. The results may provide useful tools, information and recommendations for local policy makers in order to create a more inclusive and effective hazard mitigation strategy for the affected population.


Bangladesh’s flat topography, crowded population and weak infrastructure make it exclusively vulnerable to the volatile forces that climate change is compounding. The risk is felt from the flood and drought-prone lowlands in the northern region of the country to its storm-ravaged coastline alongside the Bay of Bengal (Barua et al., 2017; and Barua and Rahman, 2018).


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