MNIPL Supporting Frontline Efforts in Bangladesh

Across the Global South, communities that have done the least to contribute to climate change are forced to bear the worst of its effects. As they are beset by floods, see historic droughts year after year, and have their livelihoods stripped away by natural disasters of increasing magnitude, we, the developed world, are obligated to mitigate the undue loss and damage we’ve created as the largest historical emitters of carbon pollution.

In Rajanpur, Bangladesh, climate loss and damage is felt firsthand. Ruhel Islam, a longtime friend of MNIPL and Bangladeshi native, spent the summer documenting and helping with the relief efforts in the aftermath of two catastrophic floods that hit the region in June and July. Monsoon season always presents a challenge for the Sylhet region, but this year climate exacerbated flooding was pointedly bad. In one 24-hour period, three feet of rain fell nearby, destroying buildings and crops alike. 

While floods close to home are increasing in magnitude and frequency, the effects of flooding are acutely felt in subsistence communities like Ranjanpur. This summer’s first round of flooding decimated local rice production and food stockpiles, leaving families without sufficient stores to get through the winter. Damage was compounded when a second, stronger flood swept through the area which damaged almost every home. Houses constructed of less durable materials like mud and tin were swept away completely.

This summer, Ruhel traveled to Rajanpur and delivered meals and clothes by boat in the flooded streets. He returned this fall to help rebuild more permanent, durable housing that can withstand future climate-strengthened floods.

MNIPL is partnering with Ruhel to share the stories of his work on the frontline of the climate crisis. Follow the loss and damage tag for more stories we’ll be sharing of a recovery process rooted in community agency, self determination, and care for those left behind by Global North countries.

Hearing Ruhel’s stories has deepened MNIPL’s organizational commitment to organizing for loss and damage compensation, and we’re hoping they’ll have a similar effect ahead of the United Nation’s annual climate talks (COP27), which will be held in Egypt this November.