In Bangladesh, Floating Schools, Farms, And Health Clinics Help Stay On Top Of Rising Waters
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Beyond island nations like the Maldives that are quickly getting submerged, no country is more threatened by climate change than Bangladesh. Sitting at the bottom of three huge rivers, much of its surface area is either covered with water, or barely above sea level. Many of its 154 million inhabitants are poor (about a quarter earn less than $2 a day) and Bangladeshis often live in structures unsuited to severe weather. Bangladesh, in short, is a climate disaster in the making. By 2030, rising water could make 20% of the country uninhabitable, forecasts show.
Faced with such doom, it’s logical to design things that can float. Aside from building on stilts (which is expensive) or somehow holding back nature, it’s the only way. For the last 12 years, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has been doing just that. The nonprofit group started with schools, then moved on to libraries, and health clinics, and training centers. More recently, the group has come up with a design for a floating farm. In all, it now operates 111 boats, including a new two-tiered school that has classrooms on a lower level and a playground on top.
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