Alternative Livelihood Options for Vulnerable Women in Climate Change Affected Flood Prone Areas


Poor people who lack adequate means to take protective measures and who also have  little capacity to cope with the loss are the worst affected by flood disaster. Keeping this  in the perspective, BRAC DECC programme has underataken an action-based  development programme to reduce vulnerability of women living in disaster prone areas.  This qualitative study attempts to explore alternative livelihood opportunities in which  women might be interested to get interventions (training and/or grant). Three upazilas  namely Chawhali in Sirajganj, Bhedarganj in Sariatpur and Dowarabazar in Sunamganj  districts have been purposively selected considering their distance from rivers (closer  or further) in order to understand livelihood patterns in varied locations. A total of nine  FGDs with ultra-poor women, 3 FGDs with men and 3 key informant interviews were  conducted. Vulnerable women who have already affected by natural disaster or have  the possibility of being affected in the future participated in the group discussions. Data  were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire on socio-demographic  characteristics, types of existing livelihood, possible risks of existing livelihood, types of  hazards, coping strategy, alternative choice of livelihoods for intervention, etc. In the  research findings, we found that flood was perceived as a common phenomenon  disrupting their lives and livelihoods. According to most of the respondents, flood hit  suddenly, less frequently but greater in extent and lengthier compared to the past. Most  of the respondents who were involved in farm-based activities lost interest in agriculture  due to flood or lack of rainfall. They could not work for 3-4 months during flood. However,  they had own choice of alternative livelihoods which could reduce their vulnerability  during crisis period. Raising cow or goat was the most preferred alternative livelihood  options followed by shop, tailoring and poultry farming. The reasons behind such  preferences were profit making, earning throughout the year, performing these activities  while staying at home beside alongside other household works and involving family  members in income generating activities. According to them, they would be able to do  these activities even during the flood by making some arrangements of shifting cows  and goat to safer places or making elevated floor by bamboo over flood water to keep  ducks and chickens. Programme’s support will create income opportunities for women  through their alternative choices of livelihood.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Tahera Akter
  • Published Date: Wednesday, 01 October 2014
  • Country: Bangladesh