Flooding

There are two types of floods in the project area. Salt water floods due to cyclones and high tide and floods due to heavy rains.

Salt water floods due to cyclones and high tide

During salt water floods due to cyclones and high tide salt water overflows the protective embankments. The main cyclone seasons are at pre and post monsoon, April-May and November-December. With a few years’ intervals the water will overflow the dikes during a cyclone.

The most massive and devastating flooding occurs as a combination of high tide, strong winds and poor coastal embankments causes flooding with salty water in vulnerable areas. Embankments are mainly built of clay without any further strengthening. Weak embankments might collapse when the cyclones hit the coast resulting in salt water intrusion into the area.

The salt water is devastating to the fields and crops in several years after the cyclone. The recurrent renovation of banks in these areas is not sufficient and especially in July and August when the heavy rain comes, the banks are further deteriorated.

Floods due to heavy rains

When the lowlands along rivers are flooded during the monsoon both harvest and the quality and richness of the soil are lost. The floods happen unintentionally by the combination of heavy rains and the blockings constructed around the fields with the purpose of holding back the water. Proper drainage paths are not constructed to lead the water away from the flooded areas.

Problems caused by rainwater floods have increased with increasing population density, poor planning and management of the built and cultivated environment. Some farmers have adapted by changing from rice production to fish farming. There is in principle a flood forecasting system, but experience shows that the warnings often do not reach the general population.

The risk of flooding will increase in future with climate changes due to an incremental frequency and intensity of cyclones and heavy rains. The poorer population experiences higher impact of these extreme events due to weak infrastructure and many poor families occupying low lands and exposed territories such as riverbeds and shores.