Drought, the result of regional climatic variability is one of the dominant threats to environment. This study focuses on the biophysical, environmental and health issues concerning drought occurrence in northwest region of Bangladesh. Using both primary and secondary data, the analysis revealed that, during the drought period, rainfall as the dominant factor of supplying surface water and normalizing the dryness of the nature was almost 46% lower than the previous (normal) years. Similarly, average monthly sunshine hours in the drought year was about 7% higher compared to that of the normal year. On an average, groundwater level declined more than one meter compared to the previous years. Thus, many of the tubewells turned dry or failed to supply the required quantity of water for household and irrigation purposes. A significant number of surface water bodies including ponds, ditches, canals and streams had little volume of low quality water. In normal years, cent percent households used hand tubewells (HTWs) as the major source of drinking water, while in the drought period only 90% households could use HTW water since substantial proportion of the HTWs turned dry. People had to collect drinking and domestic water from far distance to meet the basic requirements. Increase in
temperature and prevalence of severe dust during drought periods compared to the normal years caused different health hazards including dysentery and diarrhea due to unsafe drinking water.
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