Md. Nadiruzzaman


The Aftermath of the Cyclone Sidr Disaster in Bangladesh


Md. Nadiruzzaman (Nadir) completed his PhD on communities affected by the Cyclone Sidr disaster in Bangladesh. Born in Dhaka the capital city of Bangladesh, Nadir studies how local communities that have been marginalised in society are able to overcome immense struggles due to socioeconomic inequality. Partially inspired by his previous research for his Master’s thesis at Durham University into the power dynamics between local and national government in Bangladesh, Nadir’s PhD research examines the struggles of marginalised communities in the aftermath of the Cyclone Sidr disaster. Working closely with communities in some of the areas hardest hit by Cyclone Sidr, he was able to assess the risks they face, while identifying ways they could overcome them, such as through NGO interventions that can assist communities in preparing for and building resilience to disasters.


After the Cyclone Sidr disaster itself caused an immense amount of damage in Bangladesh, Nadir discovered that people faced numerous risks during its aftermath. Those struggling economically in Bangladesh, such as fishing communities, move to areas that are more vulnerable to the impacts of cyclones. But fishermen in Bangladesh face not only the destruction caused by natural hazards, but also must struggle against economic and social inequality. 
Nadir’s research helped give fishermen who were socially marginalised a political voice where before they had no way of communicating their struggles. The research gained local and national attention from the media and government which changed the understanding of local civil society about the fishing community. In response to Nadir’s work, local government began to enforce existing laws that protected fishermen.

Not only were people struggling to maintain their livelihoods after Cyclone Sidr, but troubles with obtaining sufficient housing after the disaster was also experienced by many people living in south Bangladesh. Based on eight months of ethnographic field work in Gabtola, Nadir found that housing provided by government was not sufficiently resilient to withstand the effects of cyclone hazards, nor cost-effective or conducive to the livelihoods or public health of communities. Findings from this research published in the scientific journal Natural Hazards can assist public authorities and NGOs in revising and improving upon their post-disaster housing programmes to better deal with future disasters.

For more about Nadir’s research: