The effects of climate change—rising sea levels and sea surface temperatures, resulting in greater instances of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal—have brought a sudden vulnerability to the lives and livelihoods
of people living in coastal areas.

In the past few years, climate change has begun to take a major toll on my home city of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Tidal surge—water levels rising significantly above the tide levels that astronomy predicts—has begun to affect the city as much as twice a day, resulting in frequent flooding of residential and business areas. Chittagong, the second-largest city in the country, is densely populated by people from all over Bangladesh who have come to the city to make a living. For many, their previous homes were plagued by river erosion, lack of jobs, and natural disasters such as cyclones. Now they have become refugees in this mega-city, finding it difficult to deal with these recent onsets of climate change; the effects upon a city as large as Chittagong are alarming. Locals such as myself are growing increasingly concerned, as we all may have to shift from our original localities due to this excess of water. My ongoing project “Water World” seeks to bring these issues to light.

The effects of climate change—rising sea levels and sea surface temperatures, resulting in greater instances of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal—have brought a sudden vulnerability to the lives and livelihoods of people living in coastal areas. Chittagong and Khulna, two major ports and business cities, are greatly threatened. The most heavily effected places are the old parts of Chittagong, like Chaktai, Khatunganj, Bakolia, and Agrabad. If things continue to worsen, the business hubs of Chaktai and Khatunganj could become completely submerged in the near future.

Prior to this sudden regularity, the only tidal surge in remembered history occurred during 1991, when a hurricane hit the coastal area of Chittagong. The new, frequent tidal surges are even higher than that in 1991 and can remain for days on end, causing great concern for the inhabitants.

Scientists now predict that the majority of the coastal area of Bangladesh will be completely submerged by the year 2050—and the possibility of it happening sooner is immensely concerning. Despite the millions of people affected, the government of Bangladesh is not paying attention to the havoc that climate change is wreaking upon the city. I believe it is high time for authorities to take the necessary steps to make people aware of this problem before it is too late.

Through these images, I focus on how climate change affects people and their surroundings. I am trying to bring out the misery of these climate refugees, who after losing their land and livelihoods in coastal regions, still fall victim to tidal surge in mega-cities like Chittagong. I am also a part of it; my family is greatly affected by this disaster and if it continues, I could lose my roots. With my photographs, I am portraying a city that I am deeply connected with—and the suffering experienced by its inhabitants.