Can Bangladesh be Protected from Floods? Hugh Brammer ISBN 984 05 1695 7 2004 278pp 240x175mm HB Tk.800.00 US$33.00
This is the author’s seventh book on agricultural development and disaster management in Bangladesh. He draws upon his 35 years experience in the country to describe the causes and impacts of the floods which periodically ravage Bangladesh and to review the efforts made to mitigate the damage and suffering they cause. The three chapters in Part I provide background information on the physical environment. They contain a comprehensive description of conditions in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna catchment area which determine Bangladesh’s vulnerability to floods; a description of how climate change and a rising sea-level might affect the country’s flood vulnerability; and an attempt to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about floods, flood impacts and flood mitigation in Bangladesh. The five chapters in Part H describe how floods affect the people and economy of Bangladesh and how the people and government have responded to the country’s exposure to floods and cyclones. The single chapter in Part HI addresses the question which gives the title to the book by reviewing the technical, economic and institutional issues raised by the changes in policy and strategy, and draws conclusions regarding the implications of these changes for the government and people of Bangladesh.
Hugh Brammer took his M.A. degree in Geography at Cambridge University in 1951 and worked on reconnaissance soil surveys in Ghana 1951-6 1. He then joined FAO to organize the reconnaissance soil survey of East Pakistan. Evacuated from Dhaka in 1971, he was seconded to the World Bank in Washington to assist in preparing the nine volume Land and Water Sector Study report (1972), including the report’s land use and hydrological maps. After serving as Senior Soil Scientist in Zambia in 1972-73, Mr. Brammer returned to Bangladesh in 1974, working mainly with the Ministry of Agriculture as land use (later agricultural development) adviser, and as project manager of an agroecological zones study until 1986. He was awarded the Bangladesh President’s Gold Medal for Agriculture in 1979, FAO’s B.R. Sen Award in 1981, and the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British Government in 1987. He retired from FAO in 1987 but was a frequent visitor to Bangladesh until 1995 as a consultant, inter alia for the Flood Policy Study (1989), the Hood Action Plan (1989-95) and a Greenhouse Effects Study (1992-93).