Bangladesh: The Drowning Country

Channel 4

Unreported World

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Bangladesh is a drowning land. The last major cyclone killed 3,000 and left millions living in tents, with barely any food or drinking water. With the land literally disappearing beneath the feet of the ever increasing population, it’s a problem that shows no sign of easing. Correspondent Ramita Navai and producer Andy Wells discover an extraordinary and devastated landscape that’s on the front line of climate change, with water levels rising inexorably and floods that once occurred every 20 years now happening every five.

Kiley begins his journey in Syktyvkar, capital of the Komi Republic and 1,000 miles north of Moscow. It's election day for the Russian Parliament and the team has been tipped off that political parties are handing out money to buy votes. Kiley meets student activists who claim they have been offered 400 roubles (£10) to vote for President Putin's United Russia party. In dramatic scenes which support claims that polls in some electoral areas were rigged, the programme films a student negotiating her payment from her United Russia contact and others queuing to sell their votes as well.

Entire villages now lie permanently underwater. Schoolchildren who once walked to school now travel by boat to schools which will themselves soon be underwater. Land is so scarce that people fight murderously over 'chars' - sandbank islands often only a few inches above sea level that can disappear again at any time. As their land disappears the only escape for most people is to flee to a life of grinding poverty and disease in the fast growing slums in the capital.

"This excellent series continues with an impassioned report from Bangladesh by young British reporter Ramita Navai...beautifully filmed by director Andy Wells…a documentary where the pictures tell the story"
- The Observer

First Broadcast

May 9, 2008



Producer Director

Andy Wells


Ramita Navai

Executive Producer

Eamonn Matthews


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