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Farzana Ahmed Mohuya

Contribution of Citizen Science to flood risk management.


Project title

Urban flood risk in Dhaka, Bangladesh


Project description

About Dhaka

Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh. It is one of the major and most densely populated cities in South Asia. It is the largest city in Eastern South Asia, in the Bay of Bengal countries, and one of the largest cities among Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries. Dhaka lies on the lower reaches of the Ganges Delta and covers a total area of 306.38 km2 (118.29 square miles).

From a small suburban town, Dhaka has emerged as a megacity, over about four centuries. According to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC), Dhaka is now a beta- (beta minus) global city. It is on the verge of a change in its urban character- vertical growth taking the place of horizontal expansion. But the Maplecroft’s Climate Vulnerability Index (2013) ranked Dhaka among the world’s most at risk cities.

Flooding in Dhaka

The Buriganga, Turag, Tongi Khal and Balu-Shitalakhya rivers surround the Dhaka Metropolitan Area (DMA). The city is low lying. Drained by many natural waterways and canals, Dhaka is prone to water-related hazards such as urban and river flooding. This is because of its location, topography, climate, and proximity to rivers.

Dhaka has always been vulnerable to river floods. It experiences regular major floods, as in 1954, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1987, 1988, 1998, 2004, 2009 and most recently in 2017. Of these, the 1988, 1998 and 2004 floods were the most catastrophic.

In recent times, urban flooding from intense rainfall is also a recurring phenomenon. Prolonged urban flooding is known locally as water logging. It is a major concern in both the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) areas.

Citizen Science in an Asian megacity: the research project

The project will explore how the Citizen Science or Crowd Science concept works in an Asian urban megacity. We will investigate the use of Citizen Science to manage the risk of urban flooding along with established flood risk control management.

We will adopt an integrated risk analysis approach of hydrological hazards management. The research will be beneficial for the co-production of knowledge with a holistic risk and emergency management perspective among different organisations.


  • Mohuya FA. Child-Centred Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangladesh: An Evolving Approach to Disaster Risk Management. In: Khatun H, Ahmad N, Mahbub AQM, Kabir H (eds.) Environment and Sustainable Development in Bangladesh: Geographical Perspectives. Dhaka, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2018. pp.115-140. ISBN: 978-984-34-4310-6.
  • Mohuya FA (2011) Climate Change and City: An Utopian Debate or White Truth! Souvenir of the World Habitat Day 2011 (বিশ্ব বসতি দিবস ২০১১) - Cities and Climate Change (নগরায়ণ ও জলবায়ু পরিবর্ত. Edited Souvenir In: Kalam AKMA, Nazem NI (eds.) Dhaka. Housing and Public Works Department (গৃহায়ণ ও গণপূর্ত মন্ত্রণালয়, গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ সরকার) and UN-HABIT, 2011. pp.75-78.
  • Hoque S, Karim MA, Mohuya FA. (2010) Air and Environment of Dhaka. In: Islam MA (ed.) Environment of Capital Dhaka - Plants Wildlife Gardens Parks Open Spaces Air Water Earthquake (Celebration of 400 Years of Capital Dhaka, 'Series 6'), Dhaka. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 2010. pp.283-306. ISBN: 978-984-33-1558-8.
Journal articles
  • Hossain MM, Mohuya FA (2014) Usage of ICT for Science Education in Some Renowned Bangla Medium School of Dhaka City. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (Sci.) 2014, 40 (2), 219-229. ISSN: 1016-6947.
  • Ahmed SU, Mohuya FA. (2013) Growth and Development of Dhaka North: 1971-2011. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (Hum.) 2013, 58(2), 303-334. ISSN: 1015-6836.
  • Mohuya FA, Bhuiyan RH, Hoque S. (2010) Heavy Metal Contamination in Gulshan-Baridhara Lake, Dhaka. The Dhaka University Journal of Biological Sciences 2010, 19(1), 53-61. ISSN: 1021-2484.