Abstract

Although households in the coastal areas of Bangladesh undertake various adaptation and coping measures to minimise their vulnerability to cyclone hazards and salinity intrusion, these autonomous measures have received little attention in the past. However, the Government of Bangladesh has recently emphasised the importance of understanding these measures so that necessary interventions to make households more resilient to natural hazards and the adverse impacts of climate change can be introduced. This paper, based on secondary sources, explores adaptation and coping measures that households in the coastal areas of Bangladesh undertake to minimise their vulnerability to cyclone hazards and salinity intrusion. This paper shows that many of the adaptation and coping measures contribute to making households less vulnerable and more resilient to cyclone hazards and salinity intrusion, although some coping measures do the opposite as they reduce households’ adaptive capacities instead of improving them. This paper argues that the adaptation and coping measures that contribute to reducing households’ vulnerability to natural hazards need to be supported and guided by the government and NGOs to make them more effective. Additionally, measures that make households more vulnerable also need to be addressed by the government and NGOs, as most of these measures are related to and constrained by both poverty, and because the households have little or no access to economic opportunities.