The devastating impact of flooding is gradually increasing worldwide including riverine islands of Bangladesh due to climate change issue. Riverine islands and coastal communities are the primary victims due to their geographical position. The riverine islands (char) of Bangladesh are frequently flooded, necessitating context-specific flood management policies and actions that require an in-depth investigation of household vulnerability level. Therefore, this study assesses the vulnerability level of riverine island dwellers to flooding. Data were collected from 384 household heads living in geographically isolated char areas. A context-specific composite flood vulnerability index was developed under the IPCC framework. The results reveal that all households are vulnerable to flooding and are poorly able to cope with its adverse effect. Households living near the mainland have a somewhat more adaptive capacity than distant households. Flood vulnerability is mainly determined by char households' flood perception, damage, and access to food, water and health resources during flooding. Riverbank erosion, recurrent floods, a lack of employment, and limited access to essential public services were also identified as the primary socio-economic and natural causes of flood vulnerability. To decrease the livelihood risk and promote char dwellers’ resilience, a char-based policy plan with both a short- and a long-term focus is required.
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