Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Health Adaptation in Southwestern Coastal Bangladesh

Md Anwarul Abedin, Andrew E. Collins, Umma Habiba, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change may affect human health through multiple and interactive pathways that include safe water scarcity. However, impacts of climate change-induced water scarcity on health and well-being are complex. About 80% of illnesses in developing countries are attributed to unsafe drinking water and waterborne diseases. In Southwestern Bangladesh, lack of safe drinking water is a severe crisis due to climate change. The study investigated the impacts of climate change on water resources and human health in a coastal area. A questionnaire survey was carried out in two villages of Shymnagar upazila on the southwestern coast to investigate the present status of safe water sources and health care facilities and their impacts on the local community. The results show that the local community believes that climate change is having substantial impacts on freshwater sources and health. More than 70% of the respondents identified diarrhea, dysentery, and skin diseases as the prime waterborne health risks that occur through climate-related safe water scarcity. By synthesizing the ground data, we suggest pathways to health adaptation to climate change effects and safe water scarcity through locally available adaptive practices such as the use of pond sand filters, rainwater harvesting, and importing potable water with the active participation of the government, nongovernmental organizations, and communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-42
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1


  • Climate change
  • Health risks
  • Safe water scarcity
  • Southwestern Bangladesh
  • Waterborne diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Safety Research
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Health Adaptation in Southwestern Coastal Bangladesh'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this