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Revealing images from the front line of climate change in Bangladesh

THE summer monsoon in Bangladesh can spell trouble. When its rains are too heavy, major floods can tear through buildings and crops, stranding millions of people and claiming lives. But where rains are too light, drought can strike. Together with rising sea levels and coastal inundation, this leads to water sources becoming saltier, with all these effects heightened by climate change.

These photos by journalist Fabeha Monir illustrate the impact that an increasingly unpredictable climate is having on the people of Bangladesh. “We don’t have to wait decades for a preview of our future transformed by rising seas,” she says. “It’s crucial to show the tangible and intangible loss and damage our peoples are facing.”

The population there has struggled to get support to deal with such issues – but that may be changing. Researchers at the International Institute for Environment and Development and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development have been visiting communities in Bangladesh whose livelihoods have been hit by climate change, in order to better understand how they can be helped.

The images show (from top): Aklima Parvin, whose skin darkened due to consuming high-salinity water, exposing her to discrimination; a haul of shrimp, once pushed as an alternative for rice crops due to saltier waters, but today’s shrimp farms make seawater inundation and salinity problems more likely; Md Yusuf Ali growing vegetables – a challenge due to increased soil salinity and drought; a pond dug in Gabura by the government and a charity – a vital water source.

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