Project Title: Resilience Through Livelihood for Sundarban Dependent Communities of Sarankhola, Bagerhat: A Climate Adaptation Frontier
Project Site Location (City, Country): Bagerhat, Khulna, Bangladesh
Project coordinates on google maps: 22.211387806073002, 89.80994569373445
Project Function: Masterplan including functions of the rural homestead, bazaar, small-scale fishery bazaar, community-based tourism facilities and nature-based disaster prevention and mitigation methods.

Project description:  
The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest is the natural wall that has been protecting the southwestern coastal areas of Bangladesh. One of its eight adjacent upazilas, Sarankhola is one of Bangladesh's most water-scarce and disaster-prone areas. Geographically falling in the exposed coast zone, this area is prone to natural disasters like cyclones, cyclone-induced tidal surges, crop failure due to salinity intrusion etc. among many others. Also, according to projections, by 2050 these lands will be under the water levels of the Bay of Bengal due to sea level rise. The people here are stuck in a vicious cyclic loop of preparing, responding, and recovering from the disaster again and again. Lack of innovation makes them go through the same things over and over while the climate and their living conditions keep worsening. With climate directly affecting their livelihood, almost 70-75% of the people here are currently living below the poverty line. These have been triggering internal migration and climate-driven displacement; the upazila has a negative population growth rate as they are all coming to the cities looking for a sustainable living increasing slum population and putting pressure on cities like Dhaka & Chittagong. This project addresses the issue of Displacement and Internal Migration due to threatened livelihood and poverty triggered by frequent natural disasters and a projected sea level rise impact. It aims to achieve a sustainable and resilient community through Climate Resilience & Sustainable Alternate Livelihood. The project site has existing functions of homesteads, a bazaar, a fishery bazaar and an eco-tourism facility initiative. The design approach broadly includes 5 main approaches based on the SWOT analysis of existing functions: 1.‘Disaster Resilient Housing’, 2. ‘Economic Revitalization’ through the development of the Bazaars, 3. ‘Strengthening Cultural Identity’ through preservation of their land, heritage & cultural practice, 4. ‘Rethinking Tourism’ to maximize livelihood opportunity of locals all while preserving the critical ecological aspects of the site, 5. ‘Nature Based Defence & Mitigation’ through addressing the hydrological aspects and proper plantation on site.
The disaster resilience structure in this project is considered to transform to a better equilibrium state with the changing nature and ecosystem through time rather than returning to a previous equilibrium state. The steps are Prevention, Prepare, Response & Transform. Instead of cyclical, this is a linear process. The considered design decisions will have to be updated with the passing of time considering changed scenarios. Considering this, all the existing functions are proposed with improved and modular structures considering local construction methods and materials to better perform the natures forces, and mobility to another safer place if needed and can be modified and expanded as per user need. Adaptive agriculture and tourist homestay facilities in households to provide alternate livelihood, renewable energy, and alternate water sources throughout all functional activities are considered. A multipurpose hall is proposed among other tourist facilities that will host training, cultural shows, service-learning activities and workshop for locals, learners, researchers and tourists. Plantation considering the soil & climate conditions that will serve as a natural defence system, a sluice gate for tidal water management of the site inspired by traditional methods has been proposed.
Back to Top