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Climate risk responses and the urban poor in the global South: the case of Dhaka’s flood risk in the low-income settlements

Haque, Anika Nasra (2021) Climate risk responses and the urban poor in the global South: the case of Dhaka’s flood risk in the low-income settlements. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 64 . Article Number 102534. ISSN 2212-4209. (doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102534) (KAR id:89918)


The impacts of climatic hazards pose disproportionate risks on the poorer groups who are often the least able to adapt. The low-income urban settlements1 present the extreme cases where the vulnerability to climate risks increases manifold due to pre-existing socio-economic vulnerabilities (e.g. developed through lack of basic services). Despite wide acknowledgement of Dhaka’s growing vulnerability to climate change, there is hardly any recent documentation on the existing micro-level adaptation practices, particularly on the most vulnerable low income communities who are the hardest hit and often lacks the pre-conditions for successful adaptation. Due to the lack of data the understanding of the ongoing phenomenon in Dhaka is not clear and this study attempts to fill the gap by identifying the ways in which Dhaka’s low-income population respond to their flood risk. The study adopts mixed-methods (questionnaire survey, focus group discussions, transect walks) to collect required data covering different scales, i.e. household and community. The results show despite being challenged by numerous pre-existing conditions, the vulnerable communities show great resilience to climatic risks based on their limited resources, local knowledge and skills. The study also reveals that the urban poor does not respond to the physical risk itself, rather they respond to what that risk means to their livelihood. Based on the analysis of the existing adaptation responses, the study identifies ways in which the macro-level efforts can be integrated with the micro-level responses to achieve meaningful longer-term resilience.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102534
Uncontrolled keywords: Household adaptation, Communal adaptation, Flood risk, Urban poor, Dhaka, Low-income urban settlement
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment, Future Human
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Anika Haque
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2021 10:02 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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