Bangladesh: A Country Underwater, a Culture on the Move

In this low-lying, coastal nation inundated by flood after flood, a rural exodus to the cities is reshaping life everywhere.

Foysak, 16, removes trash from the Buriganga River in Dhaka. The city discharges about 4,500 tons of solid waste every day, most of which is released directly into the river.

From left: Boys and young men bathe in the highly polluted Buriganga river, which contains high levels of industrial and human waste; a young boy sells bottled water on the streets of Dhaka, whose residents have little access to safe drinking water due to lax environmental rules and industrialization.

In southwest Bangladesh, embankments separate and protect rice paddies and shrimp ponds from Kapotaksma (left) and Shakbaria (right) rivers during the rainy season.

From left: Mosarrof, 56, raises shrimp on the farm that sits on a strip of land between two rivers; Mosarrof and Ruhul Aminin stand atop 20-foot-tall embankments that protect the area from flooding.

Children play in a lake on the edge of Korail, one of the main slums in Dhaka. The water here is so covered with trash and vegetation that you can't see the fluid underneath it.

Prodip Mondal, 30, and his wife, Lata Rani, 23, lost nearly 40 acres of their land during Cyclone Aila in 2009.

Prodip Mondal casts a net into a shrimp pond on his farm.

A view at sunset onto rice paddies from the embankment meant to protect local farms and houses from flooding by Kapotaksma River.


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