Bangladesh : Geographic Features

Bangladesh is situated in South Asia between India and Myanmar. With an area of 148,393 sq. km and a population of approx. 130 million, it occupies the apex of the arch formed by the Bay of Bengal into which drain a large number of rivers and their tributaries crisscrossing the country and making it a very fertile delta.

However, a dominant feature of life is the annual cycle of overabundance of water in the monsoon and its scarcity in winter. But the phenomenon changes dramatically during the winter months of November to May when the flows in the three major rivers- Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna - decrease considerably and most of the streams and channels almost dry up leading to shortage of fresh water for use in agriculture, fishery, navigation and industries as well as for domestic use.

Normal floods are regarded as highly beneficial for revitalizing the cropland. The people have also learnt the coping strategies to minimize their adverse effects. Various measures have been taken in the past to cope with the effects of catastrophic floods but not always effectively. Comprehensive multi-national studies have been made during the recent years under the World Bank coordinated Flood Action Plan to find more effective ways to mitigating such floods without causing environmental hazards.

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