'SUNAMGANJ, Bangladesh – Majida Begum squats in the mud where her kitchen used
to be, scaling fish with a dull blade.
Seasonal floods are a part of life on the riverbank where Begum lives in
northern Bangladesh. Each spring, when monsoon rains arrive, a web of narrow
rivers – like capillaries crisscrossing the flesh of the country – swell into a
But these annual floods – the lifeblood of the region's agricultural cycle –
have become erratic in recent years. And last year's were the worst Begum had
seen in her 60 years.
In June, the water edged up slowly – and then all at once – sweeping away her
thatch and bamboo home.
"Pretty soon we'll be living in the tops of trees!" Begum says, rubbing bony
fish against a blade in the new makeshift kitchen she's assembled on a muddy
tract where her house used to be. "Either that or this land will be strewn with
Begum lives a two-hour boat ride from the nearest road – and farther still from
any flood shelter. She doesn't read or write and doesn't have a cellphone.
But before the floodwaters overwhelmed her home, Begum knew precisely when to
evacuate – and how to save her own life. That's because of a human chain of
communication that relies both on high-tech forecasting and low-tech
It's what scientists say Bangladesh, a relatively poor country, nevertheless
does best: A mix of technology and community solutions that are saving lives on
the frontlines of climate change.'
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics