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)
Dr. Abu S. Shonchoy of Florida International University
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.
Globally about 600 million people are dwelling in low-elevated coastal zones, those will soon be a victim of progressive salinization—due to climate change-induced sea-level rise. We know from available research that 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 fresh water for household and commercial use.
Methods: Multi-methodology has been designed for this study. These are quantitative data collection, qualitative data collection, and salinity measurement in a scientific method.
Description: We have collected drinking water salinity data from 20 Jutes mill from Khulna & Bagerhat districts. We have also collected salinity data from 80 households of jute mill workers in the same areas. We have also obtained permission from the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association to conduct the study to their affiliated factories. Besides, we have obtained positive consent from six jute mills to conduct the study at their factories. Now our plan is to conduct a year-round comparative study to measure the variation of productivity and health status in comparison to salinity. We will also randomize 600 jute mill workers from six jute mills and collect high 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.