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Casualisation of Labour as Coping with Cyclone Aila: Peasants' Perception in the Sundarbans Area of Bangladesh




This paper investigates the coping processes of Bangladeshi peasants after the disaster of Cyclone Aila in 2009. The focus is on the experience of peasants and how they respond to the losses caused by the cyclone. Using 72 in-depth interviews with peasants, shrimp farmers, local leaders, labour contractors, engineers and NGO staff, and surveys of 850 households, this paper analyses the aftermath of Cyclone Aila in two villages in the Satkhira district located in the Sundarbans delta of Bangladesh. One of the villages, Gorkumarpur, was economically backward and poorer than Mollapara village because of its vulnerable geographical location and damaged embankments. By illustrating resilience as the function of coping with vulnerabilities, this paper finds that the peasants can cope with this natural calamity by taking up a range of casual jobs, such as earthwork and brick kiln, to improve their lives and livelihoods. Such casual employment is essential after the initial relief initiatives ended, which shows the ability of the local peasants to protect their family’s survival and secure livelihoods. 


Date of Publication

June 2022


Casualisation of Labour, Resilience, Vulnerability, Cyclone Aila, Adaptation, Coping, Sundarbans

JEL Classificatin Code

Q54, O13, J61

Recommended Citation

Bhuyan, M. H. R.Casualisation of Labour as Coping with Cyclone Aila: Peasants' Perception in the Sundarbans Area of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Development Studies, 42(1/2). 77-128. DOI: 10.57138/JURL7372

Corresponding Author(s)

                                            Mohammad Harunur Rashid Bhuyan blue-email-box-circle-png-transparent-icon-2

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