The Floating Gardens of Bangladesh

12.02.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Every year Bangladesh experiences huge floods that leave farmers out of work for as long as six months out of the year. Family incomes vanish leaving poor villages even more destitute. This was the case for a woman named Hafiza Khatum who lives in the village Charbhangura, Bangladesh. Three years ago she was trained by Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a Bangladeshi nonprofit organization, to generate income a brand new way.

This new source of income was a floating farm which included a duck coup, fish enclosures, and a vegetable garden all attached to the riverbed. Shidhulai supplied seeds, fish and duck feed and other materials for about $130. Five to ten women can work one of these farms and earn around $1,700 a year. This amount of money is nothing to us, but means survival for these women and their families.

This duck coop can house 100 ducks and has a small solar panel on top to power lights inside.

Climate change worsens flooding making innovations such as the floating farms necessary for the survival of people living in these flood zones. With the extra income from selling eggs, fish and vegetables, Ms. Khatun started saving money in a bank for the first time, bought a bed to keep her and her family off wet ground in their dirt-floored home, and helps her husband support the family. There are currently 40 floating farms worked by 300 women; Shidhulai hopes to create 400 farms to be able to help 3,000 women and their families.

Connie Hodge

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