|Introduction : |
Description of the Assignment:
Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, ranking 7th in the Global Long-Term Climate Risk Index. Cox’s Bazar remains one of the most disaster-prone districts in the country and is highly exposed to natural hazards and extreme weather impacts including cyclones, torrential rains, landslides, flash floods, storm surges, and extreme temperatures. Cox’s Bazar is also home to around one million Rohingya refugees since 2017. The Rohingya crisis has significantly increased the size of the population at risk, as well as added pressures on the environment which undermines resilience. The location, climate, topography, and human interference makes the refugee camps and hosting areas more vulnerable to natural hazard and extreme weather impacts. Between January to September 2021, natural hazards, and extreme weather events such as windstorms, heavy rains, slope failure, landslide, and flooding have impacted 206,820 individuals (44,190 households), displaced 29,292 individuals, and killed 35 individuals in the camps (SMSD incident report). Even in the absence of a major disaster, this climatic context has a considerable impact on the refugee response operation in Cox’s Bazar.
Landslides remain one of the most substantial damaging and recurrent hazards in Cox’s Bazar district and other Chittagong hill districts. The hilly terrain of Cox’s Bazar consists of poorly consolidated sand and silt deposits that are highly vulnerable to erosion processes, slope failure, and landslides during monsoon season. In the last decades, devastating landslides have repeatedly hit the hilly regions, typically due to excessive and prolonged rainfall in a short period, high population density, unplanned land use, and rampant hill cutting. Landslides caused over 500 deaths in the region in the past decade, while the highest number of 162 fatalities was recorded in June 2017 due to extreme rainfall. The Rohingya refugee crisis has further exacerbated the pre-existing landslide susceptibility of the Cox’s Bazar District due to the removal of vegetation and hill cutting for refugee shelters, other facilities, and new roads. Henceforth, the Rohingya population, mostly women and children, are forced to live in landslide-vulnerable camps. Moreover, the hilly communities (many of them are also hosting the Rohingyas), predominantly poor and landless people settling in the foothill areas are also vulnerable to landslides. It is estimated that around a million people are currently living with landslide risks in Cox’s Bazar District, including the Rohingya refugees, their host communities, and the urban hilly communities.
UNDP has been implementing a landslide risk management project in Cox’s Bazar to manage the existing challenges and gaps available in landslide risk management in Cox’s Bazar context. Under this project, UNDP Bangladesh is looking for a national consultant to develop a comprehensive landslide risk management strategy for Cox’s Bazar district.
Period of assignment/services: 35 working days over a period of 3 months
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