Bangladesh : the great overflow

Photography : Laurent WEYL     Texts : Donatien GARNIER    

PANKHALI VILLAGE Fatema and Mojinah returning with drinking water which is becoming harder and harder to find as rising sea levels, caused by climate change, and salination of the soils begin to pollute underground water sources.
PANKHALI VILLAGE Fatema and Mojinah return with drinking water. Rising sea levels and the salination of the soils is beginning to pollute the underground water sources forcing women to travel further and further to find drinking water.
THE VILLAGE OF PANKHALI A herd of goats at high tide. Flooding linked to rising sea levels has made the land unusable for growing rice and forced villagers to take up prawn farming which has aggravated the problem of soil salinisation in the region.
PANKHALI VILLAGE Wood taken from the mangroves now replaces the traditional fuel of cattle dung as the rice paddies have been replaced by prawn farms.
PANKHALI VILLAGE During the monsson, the mud huts can collapse. They must be constantly repaired.
Village of Pankhali. Global warming already affects the inhabitants of Bangladesh South Western areas. In the small village of Pankhali the sea level rise, amplified by strong tides, is at the origin of the salinisation of the lands, the pollution of the water table and the weakening of the mud built houses.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI During the monsoon the mud huts can collapse. To avoid this they must be constantly repaired.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI Bilalo Gazzi, 12, dreams of becoming a singer. But even though he already has a good reputation in his local area, his future is clouded by climate change which has weakened the economy and ecosystems of the region. To help his family to survive, Bilal has to catch the large prawns which escape from the farms and sell them at the market.
Village of Pankhali. Global warming already affects the inhabitants of Bangladesh South Western areas. In the small village of Pankhali the sea level rise, amplified by strong tides, is at the origin of the salinisation of the lands, the pollution of the water table and the weakening of the mud built houses.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI Wash yourself in the water, build mud houses which can collapse in the monsoon floods : this totally normal for the people of Pankhali. But only if the water isn’t very salty. By making the ground unsuitable for the growing of crops and for building and by polluting the underground water sources, rising sea levels threaten the delicate balance of the area.
Village of Pankhali. Left without a major food source by gradual destruction of the rice crop by the rising sea levels, the people of the small village of Pankhali rely more and more on the nearby mangroves – here the fruits of the kaoras tree – which is threatening the mangroves on which many fishing families depend.
PANKHALI VILLAGE The cattle are appreciated not only for their milk but also for their dung which provides an excellent fuel. But as prawn farming replaces rice growing due to the rising sea levels there is less and less space for cattle and without their dung for their fires the villages are taking more wood from the mangroves.
PANKHALI VILLAGE Bilal Gazzi, 12, has been forced to stop going to school in order to help his family. With his net he catches the large prawns which have escaped from the dams. Rising sea levels and salination of the land has resulted in rice fields being replaced by dams for prawn farming which require much less labour.
District de Satkhira. Each year, the main levy bank, designed to protect the region from high tides, is built a little higher.
Stakhira district. An old woman keeps her cow on the large levy bank. In just a few decades global warming has changed the countryside of her youth.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI Former agricultural workers with their catch of prawns. The salinisation of the soil by the rising sea levels has destroyed the rice farming in many areas where it has been replaced by the less labour-intensive prawn farming.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI Former agricultural workers with their catch of prawns. The salinisation of the soil by the rising sea levels has destroyed the rice farming in many areas where it has been replaced by the less labour-intensive prawn farming.
VILLAGE DE PANKHALI Workers prepare to get into a dam being prepared for prawn farming. The rising sea level is leading to the replacement of rice growing by prawn farming which requires much less labour.
Village of Munshiganj. After the market, the women pick up the rotten prawns. In this region, the rise in the sea level, by sterilising the soils, has progressively destroyed the traditional and very labour intensive rice crop and put a whole swathe of the population below the poverty line.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI Mojid Gazzi is a musician. With his harmonium and flutes, he sings love songs. Bilal, his son, 12, dreams to be a singer but his future is clouded by climate change which has weakened the economy and ecosystems of the region. To help his family to survive, Bilal has catch the large prawns which escape the farms and sell them at the market.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI After having lived off the Sunderbans most of his life, Mannan Molla, 70, now has become of those responsible for the maintenance of the main levy bank designed to protect the region from high tides . Each year it is built a little bit higher.
VILLAGE OF PANKHALI Accustomed to dealing with serious flooding, the Bangladeshis today are attempting to putting in place adaptions to climate change. Here Mannan Molla explains the issue to local villagers.
VILLAGE DE ZELEKAHLEE Used to living through widespread flood, the Bangladeshi are today putting in place procedures for limiting and adapting to climate change; here some education theatre on the issue performed by a local group.
VILLAGE DE ZELEKAHLEE Used to living through widespread flood, the Bangladeshi are today putting in place procedures for limiting and adapting to climate change; here some education theatre on the issue performed by a local group.
VILLAGE DE ZELEKAHLEE A local theatre group has been contracted to produce an itinerating show about global warming. In its house Bangladeshi acting celebrities do share the space with educational posters.
BURIGOWALINI Boats belonging to pirates and illegal loggers which have been seized by the forestry officers.
MANGROVES OF THE SUNDERBANS During the full moon, several motor boats cross the mangroves, collecting the catch of the hundreds of independent fishermen.
SUNERBAN MANGROVES Raman Gazzi, 30, starts fishing for young prawns. At the slightest suspicious sound, he quickly jumps back into his boat. Tigers are never far away.
Village of Pankhali Mannan Molla, 70, one the main people responsible for maintaining the principle levy bank, which protects the area from high tides, but which is being built a little higher each year.
DACCA A large levy bank designed to protect Dacca from the flooding of the rivers which surround it. However the project is a long way from being finished and could be counterproductive.
DACCA, SUBURB OF BANANI. The expansion of Dacca, the capital of Bangladesh, could be abruptly halted by flooding linked to global warming.
DACCA The accelerated urbanisation of Dacca (13 million inhabitants) the capital of Bangladesh, could be checked by repeated flooded linked to global warming
DACCA Forced by the impacts of global warming, hundreds of thousands of migrants leave for Dacca where they take up low-skilled, dangerous and poorly paid work. Dacca however is also threatened by the rising sea levels and the changing patterns of the monsoon.
DACCA Forced by the impacts of global warming, hundreds of thousands of migrants leave for Dacca where they take up low-skilled, dangerous and poorly paid work. Dacca however is also threatened by the rising sea levels and the changing patterns of the monsoon.
DACCA Forced by the impacts of global warming, hundreds of thousands of migrants leave for Dacca where they take up low-skilled, dangerous and poorly paid work. Dacca however is also threatened by the rising sea levels and the changing patterns of the monsoon.
DACCA Fear of tigers drove Hamid to stop fishing in the Sunderban mangroves and become a rickshaw driver in the capital.
DACCA, SUBURB OF MARADIA Forced from their land by global warming, some 30 young men, originally from the district of Sakhira have come to Daccca to become rickshaw drivers, a difficult and hazardous occupation.
DACCA, SUBURB OF MARADIA With 13 million inhabitants Dacca is the main destination for migrants forced from their land by the consequences of global warming
DACCA, SUBURB OF MARADIA Forced from their land by global warming, some 30 young men, originally from the district of Sakhira have come to Daccca to become rickshaw drivers. They live in very uncomfortable conditions – here a child which they are looking after, sleeps in the dormitory.
DACCA, SUBURB OF MARADIA Forced from their land by global warming, some 30 young men, originally from the district of Sakhira have come to Daccca to become rickshaw drivers, a difficult and hazardous occupation.
DACCA, Maradia district Dinner for Hamid and his fellow rickshaw drivers.
DACCA, Maradia district Rickshaw garage