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Indigenous Knowledge and Practices in Disaster Management: Experiences of the Coastal People of Bangladesh

  • Mahfuzul Haque
Chapter

Abstract

Natural disasters like floods, cyclones, tidal surges, river erosions are nothing new for the people of the coast of Bangladesh. They have been living with natural disasters from time immemorial and have developed their own coping strategies in facing the challenges of the calamities. Indigenous knowledge of the local community practiced over time enabled them to withstand the vagaries of nature. Their very survival strategy helped them to save their community, when external help was yet to arrive. They continue to nurture such knowledge in their myths, beliefs, and traditions. The paper introduced various features of the coast of Bangladesh and described varied faces of disaster, like floods, cyclones, tidal surges, river erosion common in that region. Elaborating some success stories, the paper puts emphasis on the local knowledge and wisdom in the management of natural resources, conservation of biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, combating climate change, etc. Functional knowledge of the local people gained over the generations has proved to be very effective when technical solutions proved to be wrong. Unfortunately, all the local knowledge and practices are in oral form and remained underutilized and undocumented. Such knowledge runs the risk of disappearance in the event of a major disaster that may cause wiping out of the whole community. The paper emphasized on their proper documentation, so that our future generations could benefit from such a knowledge.

Keywords

Bangladesh coast Community-based adaptation Indigenous knowledge Natural disaster 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahfuzul Haque
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Development StudiesUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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