Strengthening economic security through social capital: household’s adaptation to cyclone risk in Bangladesh
Md. Rasheduzzaman, Md. Shamsuzzoha, Ayesha Akter
The coastal area of Bangladesh faces destructive impacts of natural hazards mainly cyclones almost every year. Cyclone induced damages and losses are slow down the growing process of socio-economic developments in Bangladesh. The coastal households have their own adaptive mechanisms to cope with cyclones. This research has been undertaken to strengthen economic security through social capital for building household’s adaptation to cyclone risk by developing a social capital-based framework at Hazipur village of Kalapara upazila and Lebukhali village of Dumki upazila under Patuakhali district in Bangladesh. Social capital is an imperative part of household assets in sustainable livelihood. The study focuses to find out the prevailing adaptation mechanisms and social capital of the households to reduce socio-economic risks due to natural disasters. It was done by mainly questionnaire survey and focus group discussion (FGD). During questionnaire survey, mainly the household’s head was interrogated. Household’s social and economic adaptation mechanisms were assessed to measure their existing adaptive mechanisms to cyclone risks. Most of the people in the study area depend on relief and external assistance from government and charitable organizations (51.6%), loan from micro-credit financing NGOs and banks (31.7%) and borrowed money from relatives and community elders (16.7%) for their economic adaptation to cyclone risks. Social capital information of the households was also assessed by various parameters to obtain their economic security. It was also found from the study that the coastal communities have limited network access to government and non-government official or outside institutions. But the households have great bonding based social kinship with their relatives. They also have moderate to well breezing relationship with their community people, local leaders, religious leaders, community elders with strong level of trust which help them to strengthen home economic security as well as develop their adaptive mechanisms to reduce economic risks. A framework has been developed at the end of the study to measure the contribution of social capital to strengthen economic security of the coastal people for their adaption with cyclones.