EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Urban Flood Risk in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Farzana Mohuya, Claire Walsh, and Hayley Fowler
Farzana Mohuya et al.
  • Newcastle University, UK, School of Engineering, Civil and Geospatial Discipline (Water Group), Newcastle, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is one of the most densely populated cities in South Asia. Urban flooding from extreme rainfall is a recurring phenomenon, with historic floods in 1988, 1998, and 2004 amongst the most catastrophic events in Dhaka. Prolonged urban flooding or water logging is a major concern for both Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) areas. This research investigates how “Citizen Science (CS)” could help individuals, communities, and stakeholders understand and manage the risk of current and future urban flooding, integrating formal flood risk management along with the affected area’s respondents’ self-perceived perception, concerns, experience, awareness, and opinions about flood risk management, and ability to cope with the flood risk. Fieldwork data were collected through the administration of a purposely designed questionnaire to 500 respondents in the water logging affected wards of the two city corporations’ areas in Dhaka. Preliminary findings from the fieldwork revealed that every year approximately 45.6% and 29.4% respondents in the study area experienced 1-3 days of urban flooding/water logging, mostly during the monsoon season (June – September), with a work time loss of 3-4 hours respectively. Respondents in the study area are aware and concerned about flooding and its associated risk, and approximately 36.9% respondents think that the frequency of urban flooding will increase in Dhaka in the next 10 years. In terms of the vulnerability, approximately 51.5% respondents mentioned that they are vulnerable to urban flooding and small business holders (Entrepreneurs) are most affected (61.5% respondents) by flooding. Although almost 61.2% respondents were not familiar with the “Citizen Science” concept, but approximately 42.8% of respondents expressed an eagerness to involve themselves in any Citizen Science based project to promote awareness and mitigation of urban flood risk/water logging issues in their community or in Dhaka City. In addition, preliminary findings from Key Informant Interviews (KII) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Meetings suggested that unplanned urbanisation, poor and inadequate drainage system management, and recent extreme rainfall events were the major drivers behind the urban flooding/water logging situation in Dhaka.

The study also explored annual and seasonal trends of rainfall in Dhaka (using observed datasets from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department) over the period from 1953-2019 using extreme precipitation indices [Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI)]. It is revealed that over these 67 years, Annual Maximum Daily Rainfall has increased during winter (0.021 mm/year) but statistically significantly decreased during the monsoon (-0.636 mm/year). The overall annual rainfall has significantly decreased (-0.718 mm/year). Trends in Consecutive Dry Days, heavy, and very heavy precipitation days indicate an annual increasing rate of 0.158 days/year for CDD, 0.077 days/year with >= 10 mm rainfall and 0.019 days/year with >= 20 mm rainfall, respectively. Results from the rainfall datasets are now being integrated with the fieldwork findings and other secondary datasets to set up a Hydrodynamic Model (CityCAT) to investigate current and future flood risk in Dhaka in more detail.

How to cite: Mohuya, F., Walsh, C., and Fowler, H.: Urban Flood Risk in Dhaka, Bangladesh, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7194,, 2023.

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