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The winds of change: A special on climate change in Asia

Published on Aug 30, 2014 7:15 AM
 
Displaced families from Lebubunia village in Bangladesh affected by the floods in 2009 continue to live in huts. -- PHOTO: ANN

Torrential rains recently left scores dead in Japan. Rising sea levels are destroying precious farmland in Vietnam and Bangladesh while in Bhutan, otherwise scenic mountain lakes are increasingly a menace. Ahead of a United Nations climate change summit next month, the Asia News Network looks at how these disparate symptoms are already taking their toll on countries in the region.

Vietnam: Rising sea levels pose salt threat

Pham Thi Ly buys fresh water every 10 days from a well operator in another commune during the dry season.

To ensure her children have clean drinking water, she has to buy the bottled stuff. The dry season typically runs for four months and this buying of water puts a dent into whatever she earns from fishing.

But Mrs Ly has no choice - there is no fresh water to be had as the groundwater under the Thua Duc Commune in Vietnam's southern Ben Tre province has become too salty for daily use. Read more here >>

Bhutan: Farms face growing dangers

One of the most picturesque scenes from Bhutan is that of the snow-fed Phochu (male river) and Mochu (female river) merging to form the Punatsangchu.

Thousands of padi farmers live in the fertile Punakha-Wangdue Phodrang valley, the rice bowl of western Bhutan. The peaceful, rustic image it presents is postcard pretty, but it also belies the rising dangers the villagers face as a result of warming temperatures. Read more here >>

Bangladesh: Lashed by cyclones

Lebubunia village is a symbol of survival as it stands on the edge of a 3m-wide earthen wall by the river Kobadak.

It is also a reminder of the threat Bangladesh faces as a result of climate change. In 2009, a storm surge breached the embankment and swept away nearby houses. Mercifully, most of the villagers found safety in nearby cyclone shelters, thanks to an early warning system. Read more here >>

Snapshots from Malaysia, China and Pakistan 

Mr Kevin Tan, a member of Kuala Lumpur's burgeoning middle class, dreamt that he would see the day when he, his wife and his young son would have to endure months of dry taps in the bustling metropolis.

His household was just one among millions affected by an unusual, three-month-long hot and dry spell which struck parts of peninsular Malaysia in mid-January. Read more here >> 

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