The Impact of `Greater Dhaka Flood Protection Project' (GDFPP) on Local Living Environment – The Attitude of the Floodplain Residents
Author: Chowdhury, M.R.
Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 29, Number 3, July 2003 , pp. 309-324(16)
This paper aims to examine the impact of large-scale structural adjustments (like the Greater Dhaka Flood Protection Project, GDFPP) on local living environment. It focuses the importance of environmental factors in flood hazard mitigation, and examines the environmental attitudes of the floodplain residents arising from the large-scale structural adjustments. Based on `perceived natural hazard research perspectives', this paper examines: (i) the reasons for persistent floodplain occupation, and (ii) the importance of environmental factors in the choice, motivations and decision-making of floodplain residents.
This research used data collected from 300 households situated in the eastern part of Dhaka. The face-to-face household survey data provided individuals' responses to a structured questionnaire on hazards and environment. Survey concerned urban floodplains, and looked for data on housing, household characteristics, and residents' attitudes. Results of interview surveys were used to: (i) explore the reasons of floodplain occupation, and (ii) residents' attitudes to tolerable level of flood risk and willingness to accept environmental change resulting from the proposed structural embankments in the eastern perimeter of Dhaka City, Bangladesh.
Findings revealed that floodplain occupation (by the individuals' decision-making) was a result of overall reaction to the Government's structural adjustment policies that resulted from institutional, locational and socio-economic factors. The attitude survey results provided residents' perception to hazards and environment to be dependent on the socio-economic factors – but in a complex manner, many factors are interrelated. In addition to support for structural embankments, the study sample displayed a common concern and widespread environmental awareness. In terms of any `trade-off' between the benefits (resources) from the embankments and costs (hazards) due to the detrimental impact on environment, the residents of Dhaka, despite some concern for sacrificing embankments for environment, tended to show a general consensus for embankments.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, LDEO of Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Monell 133, Palisades, New York 10964, USA (On leave from the Bangladesh Water Development Board, Bangladesh) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: July 1, 2003