GENEVA / BANGLADESH CLIMATE CHANGE

04-Apr-2019 00:02:12
A new UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report warned, “more than 19 million children living across Bangladesh are at risk from devastating floods, cyclones and other environmental disasters linked to climate change.” UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / BANGLADESH CLIMATE CHANGE
TRT: 3:20
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 04 APRIL 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior shot, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, cameras, journalists, panel
3. Close up, journalist writing, printed news repor
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Simon Ingram, Report Author:
“Something like 19.4 million children in 20 different most-at-risk districts of the country are at risk from the effects of climate change.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Simon Ingram, Report Author:
“The danger that is represented by flooding is extreme and it is almost on an annual basis. The last major floods to hit Bangladesh were in 2017 when something like eight million people were affected by a series of flooding events that took place.”
7. Close up, journalist typing
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Simon Ingram, Report Author:
“This had an enormous effect not just in terms of displacing families and pushing them out of their homes, but also the destruction that it caused to health facilities and to basic services like water and sanitation.”
9. Close up, journalists
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Simon Ingram, Report Author:
“There are already something like six million climate refugees in Bangladeshi cities and that number is growing fast.”
11. Med shot, room, journalists
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Simon Ingram, Report Author:
“Brutal surroundings where they are forced to essentially fend for themselves. Many children being pushed into very hazardous forms of child labour. Many girls who end up being pushed into taking early marriages because their families can no longer look after them. And there are other girls that also end up in what is clearly a flourishing and expanding sex trade in the cities.”
13. Med shot: journalists
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Simon Ingram, Report Author:
“We wonder how on earth they can survive, and yet there is the sense also that society is pulling together, that they have really learned a lot over the term of their last climate change strategy which the Government instituted in 2009, and which is now being renewed.”
15. Wide shot, room
16. Close up, journalist writing
STORYLINE
A new UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report warned, “more than 19 million children living across Bangladesh are at risk from devastating floods, cyclones and other environmental disasters linked to climate change.”

Report author Simon Ingram told journalists in Geneva Thursday (04 Apr) that “something like 19.4 million children in 20 different most-at-risk districts of the country are at risk from the effects of climate change.”

According to the study - Gathering Storm: Climate change clouds the future of children in Bangladesh – the country’s flat topography, dense population and weak infrastructure make it uniquely vulnerable to the powerful and unpredictable forces that climate change is compounding.

The threat is felt from the flood and drought-prone lowlands in the country’s north to its storm-ravaged coastline along the Bay of Bengal, it explains.

Today, around 12 million of the 19.4 million children most affected by climate change live in and around the powerful river systems which flow through Bangladesh and regularly burst their banks.

Ingram said, “the danger that is represented by flooding is extreme and it is almost on an annual basis. The last major floods to hit Bangladesh were in 2017 when something like eight million people were affected by a series of flooding events that took place.”

The major flooding of the Brahmaputra River described by Ingram inundated at least 480 community health clinics and damaged some 50,000 wells, which are essential for meeting communities’ safe water needs.

Ingram said, “this had an enormous effect not just in terms of displacing families and pushing them out of their homes, but also the destruction that it caused to health facilities and to basic services like water and sanitation.”

In addition to at-risk communities living close to rivers, another 4.5 million children who live in coastal areas are regularly struck by powerful cyclones.

This includes almost half a million Rohingya refugee children who fled neighbouring Myanmar in 2016 and who now live in bamboo and plastic shelters, UNICEF’s report explains, noting that a further three million children live further inland, where farming communities suffer increasing periods of drought.

Rising sea levels and unchecked salt water intrusion are also a serious threat to pregnant women, UNICEF says, underlining the link between high salinity in drinking water and an increased risk of grave medical conditions including preeclampsia and hypertension identified among mothers-to-be at the coast.

One of the consequences of the country’s long struggle with the elements is a spike in the number of families leaving rural areas and heading for major cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong, where children’s rights are frequently violated.
Ingram said, “there are already something like six million climate refugees in Bangladeshi cities and that number is growing fast.”

He described “brutal surroundings” where children “are forced to essentially fend for themselves, while many children are “pushed into very hazardous forms of child labour. Many girls who end up being pushed into taking early marriages because their families can no longer look after them. And there are other girls that also end up in what is clearly a flourishing and expanding sex trade in the cities.”

Working in coastal and climate-vulnerable regions across the country, members of YouthNet spread messages on disaster preparedness, water and sanitation, menstrual hygiene, gender-based violence and child marriage.

Ingram said, “we wonder how on earth they can survive, and yet there is the sense also that society is pulling together, that they have really learned a lot over the term of their last climate change strategy which the Government instituted in 2009, and which is now being renewed.”
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