Bangladesh, the land of monsoons

Bangladesh is situated on the river delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. She has a tropical monsoon-type climate, with a hot and rainy summer and a dry winter. January is the coolest month with temperatures averaging near 26 deg C (78 d F) and April the warmest with temperatures from 33 to 36 deg C (91 to 96 deg F). The climate is one of the wettest in the world. Most places receive more than 1,525 mm of rain a year, and areas near the hills receive 5,080 mm ). Most rains occur during the monsoon (June-September) and little in winter (November-February).

Bangladesh is also subject to devastating cyclones, originating over the Bay of Bengal, in the periods of April to May and September to November. Often accompanied by surging waves, these storms can cause great damage and loss of life. The cyclone of November 1970, was one of the worst natural disasters of the country in the 20th century. It claimed 500,000 lives.

Another severe flooding in September 1998, Bangladesh saw the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and Meghan rivers spilled over and swallowed 300,000 houses. Thousands were homeless.

Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 m (39.4 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 10% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 1 m (3.28 ft).

The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 m (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country. Cox’s Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that stretches uninterrupted over 120 kilometres.

Bangladesh is now widely recognized to be one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change. Natural hazards that come from increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones are expected to increase as climate change, each seriously affecting agriculture, water & food security, human health and shelter. It is believed that in the coming decades the rising sea level alone will create more than 20 million homeless. Bangladeshi water is contaminated with arsenic frequently because of the high arsenic contents in the soil. Up to 77 million people are exposed to toxic arsenic from drinking water.

Photography tips

This unique climate conditions provide photography opportunity for those who venture into this country. Half the year most of the low lying areas are flooded and the farmers turned to fishing for survival. The other half of the year, the flood water resides and fields are used for planting. There is always activity all year round for photography trips.

We made our trip to Bangladesh around the month of August which is supposed to be in the middle of the monsoon season. We experienced only 2 days of rain during our entire 8 days trip. Most of the days were sunny and bright.

Photographing in the market

Market in Dhaka

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