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UNDERSTANDING THE PAST PERSPECTIVE OF RIVERINE FLOODING IN BANGLADESH; CHARACTERISTICS AND CHALLENGE IN PRESENT ERA
*Dr. Irin Hossain and Dr. Ashekur Rahman Mullick
Flooding is a regular catastrophic event in Bangladesh as it causes severe social and economic losses and damages in the different parts of the country in every year. Bangladesh is a flat delta with many abandoned channels inside the country and many depressions known as beels, baors and haors. The geographic location of Bangladesh with the Indian Ocean to the South, the Himalayas to the North and the prevailing monsoons, has made it one of the wettest countries of the world. The flatness of the land surface gives a minimal gradient to the flood producing rivers. During flood time, the average slope of the Brahmaputra is of the order of 6 cm/km and the Ganges and the Meghna have even smaller gradients. The heavy monsoon downpour and synchronization of flood-peaks of the major rivers are generally considered to be the main causes of the floods. Some primary factors also deserve serious consideration as possible contributors to the recent floods: alteration in the base level of the rivers due to local sea level rise and subsidence, inadequate sediment accumulation on flood plains, a possible increase in the watershed area due to seismic and neotectonic events in the region, river bed aggradation due to siltation and damming of rivers, soil erosion due to imprudent tilling practices, deforestation in the upstream area, and excessive development and population growth. Despite its recurrent nature and devastation, the comprehensive research on flood modelling, forecasting and management in Bangladesh has been limited and less emphasized. This study of research will help the authorities to have an overview of important aspects of flood during planning of mitigation measures and management projects.[Full Text Article]