3rd Prize Singles, Environment
27 September 2020
A woman draws drinking water from a cloth set out to catch rainwater, in the village of Kalabogi, in the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, on 27 September.
People living in Kalabogi and the Sundarbans region suffer from a water shortage in the dry season as a result of increasing salinity in the groundwater, and of the river Satkhira, caused by rising sea levels. Satellites have found the sea advancing by 200 meters a year in parts of the region. Academic studies indicate an estimated 20 million people living along the Bangladesh coast are affected by salinity in drinking water. More than half of the coastal areas are impacted by salinity, which reduces soil productivity and vegetation growth, degrading the environment and impacting people’s lives and livelihoods. Rice paddies and cultivable land are converted to shrimp farms, which further contribute to groundwater salinity and soil degradation.