Climate refugees in Drowned Land

Drowned land, its cold, very cold in Bangladesh, especially if you only wear a Sari. I am arriving with a small boat in the early morning, I feel lost in this world at the same time it reminds me so much of Holland; flat, everywhere water. I am climbing the embankment, it is very slippery with the wet riverclay. I don't have boots and almost lose my shoes.

Till two years ago this was all agricultural land, then cyclone Aila arrived, unannounced. There was hardly any wind, just a big wave. Cyclones are nothing new for bangladesh. What is new is that the water doesn't recede, the sea is rising, so are the rivers due to the fast melting of the glaciers in the Himalaya's.
Now mother and son live on a small island, surrounded by water. They are two of the millions of climate refugees in Bangladesh.
January 2011

Kadir van Lohuizen