The purposes of the study were to identify the causes and impacts of riverbank erosion on livelihood of Saheber Alga union at UlipurUpazila of Kurigram District. Questionnaire survey, key information interviews (KII) and focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted for data collection. The major causes of river bank erosion in the study area are flood, current storm, heavy rainfall, illegal sand extraction, shallow less of the river and geographic location. About 42% respondents suggested that flood is the main causes of riverbank erosion. The riverbank erosion has long term impact on livelihood and changes the livelihood pattern of people. About 32% respondents are suggested the main impact of river bank erosion is loss of land. From the study respondents also suggested the structural and non-structural measures to reduce the impacts of river bank erosion. About 51% respondents are suggested that embankment is the major structural measures of river bank erosion and 39% respondents are suggested that tree plantation is a best option of non-structural measures river bank erosion. Increased awareness, planned land use and implementation of the governmental policy that also helpful to combat the impact of riverbank erosion in the study area of Bangladesh.
Key words: River bank erosion, flood, displacement, embankment.
Introduction Bangladesh is situated in the confluences of the Padma, the Brahmaputra, the Jamuna and the Meghna River. It is one of the world’s largest delta (Roy et al., 2017). Bangladesh covers the downstream eight percent of the Ganges, Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin. River dynamics are controlled by the water flow and volume of sediment pass through the channel as well as climate and tectonics of the river flow regime. River naturally changes in intensity and magnitude and tend to be in equilibrium conditions by erosion and deposition. When stress of water and sediments exceed the resistance of the bank, erosion occurs (Islam and Rashid, 2011). Although river bank erosion are considered as one of the most annoying environmental hazards these days (Chatterjee and Mistri, 2013). The victims of the river bank erosion are most likely to suffer from the emergency operations. Impacts of river bank erosion on human are multidimensional (Haque, 1988). The invariable threat of the bank erosion was contributed to a substantial disaster subculture in the riverine zones of Bangladesh (Hutton and Haque, 2004). So, it is evident that a major part of the total population of the country lives near riverbank which frequently makes them victims (Das, 2011). One million people are affected directly every year and about four million homeless people are being compelled to lead a suspended life (Islam and Rashid, 2011). Displacement due to river bank erosion is a persistent and recurring hazard in Bangladesh (Hutton and Haque, 2004; Mamun, 1996; Roy et al., 2017). Bangladesh is suffering from severe river bank erosion (Mollah and Ferdaush, 2015; Uddin and Rahman, 2011). The victims in Bangladesh have been suffering from the lack of institutional response in formulating and undertaking the adjustment strategies (Rogge, 1991). Evidence mentioned that Brahmaputra bank erosion has wiped out a large area including human settlements, productive crop land and reserve forest area. Riverbank erosion is environmental disaster that the country experience recurrently and estimated one million people displaced every year due to riverbank erosion in the country (Uddin and Bashak, 2012). The study area is situated on the bank of the Brahmaputra river at Saheber Alga union at Ulipur Upazila in Kurigram District. The river is losing its depths gradually and bank erosion is accelerated day by day. People of the Saheber Alga union faced heavy socio-economic problems due to river bank erosion. The