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About Bangladesh

Bangladesh is the seventh most populous country and is

among the most densely populated countries in the
world with a high poverty rate. However, per-capita
GDP has more than doubled since 1975, and the
poverty rate has fallen by 20% since the early 1990s.
The country is listed among the "Next Eleven"
N-11 are eleven countries — Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran,
Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines,
South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam
General Statistics of Bangladesh
Country Profile
Bangladesh is sub-tropical riverine country with
monsoon climate;

Location: Between 20o and 26o north latitude & 88o and
93o east longitude

Total Area:

Total: 147,570 square kilometers (56,977 square miles)

Land: 133,910 sq km
Water: 10,090 sq km
Country Profile……
Land boundaries:
Total: 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km
Boundary: North, West & East – India, Southeast –
Myanmar, South – Bay of Bengal
Population: 160 million; density 1000 persons
/sq.km.(highest in the world).

25% of the population live in urban areas while the

rest 75% live in 86000 villages.
Population growth rate is 1.2%
Country Profile……

 Main River : The Padma, the Jamuna & the Meghna

 Temperature : 7.22 - 22.77 0C in winter & 23.88 -

38.5 0C in summer

 Average Rainfall : Annually 1429 to 4338 mm

 Main Export : Jute, Tea, Garments, Frozen Fish etc.

Coastline: 580 km
Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the

continental margin;
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km)
territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km)
Elevation extremes:

Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point: In the Mowdok range at 1052 m (at N
21°47'12" E 92°36'36"), NOT Keokradong (883 m not
1,230 m) or Tajingdong, 985 m not 1,280 m as
sometimes reported)
Resources and land use
Natural resources:
natural gas, arable land, timber, coal
Land use:
Arable land: 55.39%
Permanent crops: 3.08%
other: 41.53% (2005)
Irrigated land: 47,250 km² (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
1,210.6 km³
Freshwater withdrawal
total: 79.4 km³/yr (3%/1%/96%)
Some Socio-Economic Indicators
 Per Capita income at current price US$ +1,314;

 Adult literacy rate is 54.8;female 48.9 & male 60.3

 Access to safe drinking water (% pop.) Around 80%

 62.3% of labor force are involved in agriculture farming,

poultry & livestock rearing, small business & fishing.

 Average life expectancy for male is 60.1 yrs. and female

60.9 yrs.

 Child mortality rate is 56 per thousand births.

Environmental concerns
Natural hazards:
Cyclones; much of the country routinely swamped with
water during the summer monsoon season; droughts,
Flood, etc.

Environment - current issues

Many people are landless and forced to live on and
cultivate flood-prone land;
Limited access to potable water;
Water-borne diseases prevalent;
Water pollution especially of fishing areas results from
the use of commercial pesticides;
Environment - current issues ………

Ground water contaminated by naturally occurring

Intermittent water shortages because of falling water
tables in the northern and central parts of the country;
Soil degradation and erosion;
Deforestation; overpopulation.
Environment - international agreements:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol,
Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands conservation.
MDG Indicators for water and

To ensure safe water and sanitation for all by the end

of 2015.

 Baseline survey: 2003

 47% do not have access to any sanitation facility

 29% sanitary latrines
 24% unhygienic latrines
EcoSan Initiatives by GoB
GOB has undertaken initiatives for installation of at least
one EcoSan toilet in each union (4500 unions) as
EcoSan potentials…..
 Bangladesh currently uses around 5 m tons of che-
mical fertilizers which can be replaced by just bringing
25% of our population under the coverage of eco-

 Effective Coordination
 User’s friendly and affordable designs
 Limited funds – Govt. and Donors;
 Absence of user’s friendly guidelines;
 Building capacities at all levels;
 Still considered pilot;
 Local Authorities are not aware.
Geology & Physiographic
Settings of Bangladesh
The Geology of Bangladesh
The geology and hydrology of Bangladesh is very
complicated due to the nature of its underground
structures. Multiple layers of Himalayan sediments
deposited over tens of millions of years by shifting
rivers, tides, and floods. The sediment layer is up to 20
kilometres thick near the Bay of Bengal.
The Geology of Bangladesh
Most of the areas of Bangladesh lies within the broad
delta formed by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers.
Lands are exceedingly flat, low-lying, and subject to
annual flooding. The fertile alluvial soil is deposited by
the floodwaters.

The only significant area of hilly terrain, constituting less

than one-tenth of the nation's territory, is the
Chittagong Hill Tracts in the narrow southeastern part
of the country. Small, scattered hills lie along or near
the eastern and northern borders with India.

The eroded remnants of two old alluvial terraces-the

Madhupur Tract and The Barind Tract attain elevations
of about 30 m.
Geographical Setting
The major natural assets of Bangladesh are:

 its access to open ocean,

 the tropical climate,
 the abundance of good soils,
 the seasonal abundance of rainfall, and river flow.
It is often said that Bangladesh is poor in natural
resources but it is not correct.

By natural resources some refer only to mineral

resources, which are apparently scarce in the alluvial
basin, but even that superficial view has begun to
change with further exploration.
Access to the open Ocean
Access to open ocean is a major natural asset, the value
of which is so readily apparent when one considers
the logistical, mercantile, and geo-political problems of
the land locked countries (e.g. Afghanistan, Laos,

Through the Bay of Bengal there is easy access to the

Indian Ocean and the major lanes of International

A secondary benefit of the ocean front is the opportunity

to use marine and continental shelf resources. These
include not only fishes and other living organism but
also salt, petroleum and other mineral resources.
Tropical Climate

The tropical climate is another major asset. This

enables crops to be grown throughout the year,
unlike countries in high altitudes.

In Japan, for example, though agriculture is

considerably advanced, only one crop can be grown
because of the cold winters.

In Bangladesh temperatures are seldom below 70 C,

considered critical for tropical plant growth. Sunshine
is abundant, even during the rainy season enabling
high yielding crops to be grown.
Land Resource
One-third of the land available for cultivation has good
soils, an unusual proportion for any country, and very
much higher than the average for tropical countries.

Large areas of lowlands in the tropics contain poor

soils, which severely restrict crop production. More
over, most of Bangladesh has nearly flat terrain, with
only a tenth of the land is hilly or mountainous.

On the other hand, many countries, such as Japan and

Korea are largely mountainous, with only a fifth or
sixth of the land suitable for intensive agriculture.
Rainfall and Water
The high rainfall and the enormous flow of the large
rivers are often considered a hindrance to
development. But in fact, the abundance of water
could be considered fortunate for a country that is
right on the Tropics of Cancer.

This is the desert belt of the Northern Hemisphere,

and Bangladesh would have been a very dry
country but for the Himalayan Mountains. By
intercepting the trade winds, this mountain chain
induces abundant rainfall in the northern Indian
Tropics of Cancer
Rainfall and Water……
The greenery of Bangladesh is thus an anomaly, for
the Thar, Arabian, and Shahra deserts which are all
along the same latitudes.

Though flood water creates problem but due to

geographical setting of the country, it is better to
have enough water than little but the whole issue is
to manage the abundant water by spreading it over
the remaining dry period of the year which requires
the concept of introducing proper watershed
management initiative.
Geology: Wegre’s theory of
continental drift
 According to the theory the earth is divided into a
number of plates. These plats shift due to sea floor
spreading and subduction;

 The continental masses connected together, broke up

and reformed several times during the four and a
half billion years of earth history;

 In the early Triassic period (225 to 190 million years

ago) most of the earth land’s formed a single
continental areas called Pangea and was surrounded
by one ocean, called Palanthalassa;

The blue
Pangaea is
Geology: Wegre’s theory of
continental drift
 The latest continental break up occurred about 200
million years ago and the plates began moving in
different directions. Pangea split first into two masses:
Laurasia and Gondwana;

 Lurasia later broke into three: the western most

forming North America and the eastern two forming
most of the Asian-European land mass;

 In Jurassic Period (194 to 136 million years ago) the

Indian portion of the Gondwana mass split off and
began moving north, towards Asia. The Indian &
Australian portion of Gondwana were on the same
plate known as the Indo –Australian plate;
Geology: Wegre’s theory of
continental drift
 Due to continual movement in different directions of
the Indo –Australian plate, the Indian portion of the
Gondwana moved north relatively fast & collided
with the European-Asian and East Asian plates in the
Eocene period (54 to 38 million years ago);

 Due to this huge collision the Indian plate moved

some 2,000 km into the Cathaysian (East Asian)
plate, which resulted in the uplift of the Himalayan
system and the large Tibetan plateau and very
considerable faulting in china;
Geology: Wegre’s theory of
continental drift

 In the Oligocene Period (38 to 28 million years ago),

some time after the plates collided, a portion of the
northeastern part of India fractured and sank below
sea level;

 This portion was gradually filled by sediments washed

down from the Himalayan system to form the Bengal
Physiographic Features of
 The word Physiography is the combination of physio
and graphy where physio means earth and graphy
refers to discussion. So Physiography is the study of
earth. It is very much essential to know the physical
characteristics of earth where we live in.

 Physiography is the terrain condition of a tract of land.

In other word physiography reveals the condition of
surface of land. It deals about the total feature of earth
crust. The physiographic condition may vary from place
to place depending on terrain texture, rock type, and
geologic structure and formation, etc.
 Spate (1954) was the first author to delineate
physiographic regions in Bangladesh, he outlined five
physiographic regions in the Bengal basin, three of
which fell in Bangladesh.
 Johnson (1957) took the regions outlined by Spate
(1954) and further redefined five physiographic
regions in Bangladesh, with twelve sub divisions.
Johnson's physiographic map contained several errors
(Rashid, 1991), in particular in the exact delineation of
the Barind Tract.

 Rashid (1991) refined the previous definitions based

on topographic features, drainage patterns, soil
associations, morphologies and land use. Rashid
(1991) identified 24 physiographic regions in
Physiographic Divisions of
On the basis of its physical characteristics,
Bangladesh can be divided into seven Physiographic
divisions. These are:

 1. Tertiary Hills
 2. Pleistocene Terraces
 3. Piedmont Alluvial Plains
 4. Coastal Plain
 5. Tidal Plain
 6. Deltaic Plain and
 7. Flood Plain
Tertiary Hills
• This part of
Bangladesh is
different from the
rest of the country.
This area contains
with tangled hills and
valleys, spring lakes
mountainous ridges
and plenty of forests.
Pleistocene Terrace
 It includes the Barind uplands. The Rajshahi,
Modhupur and Lalmai uplands of Comilla are the
best example of Pleistocene terrace areas. The main
characteristics of this area are comparatively high
elevation and reddish lateric soils.

Barind Tract Lalmai Uplands

Piedmont Alluvial Plains
 This type of soil is specially found at the foot of
Himalayan Ranges. The alluvial deposit is mostly
sandy silt. A small stretches are seen in the northern
parts of Sherpur and Netrokona districts.
Piedmont Alluvial Plains
Coastal Plain
This region is found in the coastal belt area of our
country i.e. southern part and mouth of Bay of
Bengal. This plain is composed of saline clays
and most of it is affected by tides. Due to
salinity of soil it is not suitable to crop
Tidal Plain
The southern part of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagarhat,
Jhalokhathi, Potuakhali and Borguna districts are
within the tidal plain. The main characteristics of
these land area is clay-to-clay loam, criss crossed
by numerous streams and channels. The most
forest area of our country remains here.
Deltaic Plain
A delta is land created by a river that
deposits soil. The term "delta"
usually implies the triangular
shape of land at the opening of a
river into a sea or lake. However a
delta can be formed by flooding of
large rivers.

This area contains from the

southern part of the Rajshahi,
Natore and Pabna to the boundary
of tidal plain from Ganga or
Padma. These land area are also
very fertile due to silt of river.
Flood Plain

 Rest of Bangladesh that we discussed above, is the

vast flood plain. Actually these types of soil are
found all over the Bangladesh, as Bangladesh is a
land of rivers. These types of land are formed
because of flood and contain high fertility to grow
Main physiographic units of Bangladesh
(Hofer & Messerli, 2006)

 Floodplain:
Often unstable, 2-5m relief.
 Deltaic Plain:

Low gradients and complex river

 Tidal Floodplains:

Poldered and level. Often flooded

by rainfall.
 Piedmont:

Gentle alluvial plains subject to

flash floods