FLOATING GARDENS IN BANGLADESH
grown. This approach can extend the growing capabilities of rural communities where
land would otherwise be unavailable. It is cheap and sustainable.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest countries, criss-crossed by more than 230 of the world’s most unstable rivers. For poor families living in rural Bangladesh land is a scarce commodity and people have to make use of whatever space is available. Each year the situation is exasperated by flooding which restricts the time that crops can be grown. Floods affect over one million people in the country and more than 100,000 women, men and children are forced to move as villages and livelihoods are literally washed away. In recentyears flooding has intensified and lasted longer and now the fields can be submerged for far longer than the traditional two months. During the monsoon season, much of the farm land in the Gaibandha district is covered by water, making it impossible to grow crops. Even when the floods recede the land remains waterlogged restricting people’s ability to cultivate vegetables to feed themselves and to generate an income, particularly when land is flooded and other cultivation options are unavailable.