Haor and Flash Floods Area (HFF)

A haor is a wetland ecosystem in the northeastern part of Bangladesh. It is a bowl or saucer shaped shallow tectonic depression, also known as a ‗back swamp‘. This region covers an area of 2 million ha, with 0.86 million ha as depression area. Around 19.37 million people depend on this region for their livelihoods (CEGIS 2012c). Annual rainfall ranges from 2,200 mm along the western boundary to 5,800 mm in the northeast corner (CEGIS 2012b). Excess rainfall in the upstream hilly areas and subsequent runoff, river sedimentation, unplanned road and water management infrastructure, deforestation, hill cuts, landslides, improper drainage, and the effect of climate variability and change can be viewed as major contributors to the devastation caused by flash floods (CEGIS 2012b). During the monsoon (July-September), the haors turn into a vast inland sea within which the villages appear as islands.

The main climate change impact is the increase of flash flood risk in the pre-monsoon period. The haor region gets inundated for several months, threatening the cultivation of crops only cultivated during this period every year. Climate change in the future could thus have serious implications for the agriculture sector, health, and food security of the people in this region.