The winter in Bangladesh was generally considered as pleasant. Usually lifestyle change in this season and many activities like, visiting countryside with family and friends, picnic, travels, sightseeing, festivals, fairs, ceremonies take place in this season. Many exotic and indigenous vegetables and fruits give the markets a colorful look and consumers make delicious food items. One special activity in the winter of Bangladesh is making of various types of country cakes (locally called pitha) with rice, coconut, molasses made from the sap of date palm, spices and many other ingredients. People generally relish these traditional food items when the invasions of imported foreign and locally machine made packaged food items flood the market. Foreign tourists also enjoy the pleasant winter weather of Bangladesh as it is almost similar to the summer of the west. This is why many foreigners from the whole world and the migrant Bangladeshi people visit Bangladesh during winter. Cool temperature without any trouble of mud making rain give delightful experience.
But our country has not seen this excessive cold for long like this year. Very recently Bangladesh recorded its lowest ever temperature in history at 2.6 degrees in Tetulia, Panchagarh under the influence of a severe cold wave prevailing through the northern districts. The temperature in this winter has been recorded as the lowest in 50 years. The variation of temperature in different areas of the country may present a wrong picture about the severity of cold wave in particular places. In rural areas, farming activities remained badly affected as fewer people came out of their homes due to the trembling cold. The sufferings of daily earners like day laborers and rickshaw pullers have been the worst as the cold appears to be a drag on economic activity. Fewer vehicles were seen plying the streets in towns across the cold wave-hit region. Shrouded by heavy fog, public places like hats, bazaars and bus stands looked mostly deserted. Cold related ailments like pneumonia, asthma and other respiratory diseases have also been reported from across the country. People from poor and disadvantaged communities have been experiencing severe cold in the region for a week resulting in terrific suffering for the poor and homeless people. Many elderly people including children have fallen sick and even to death due to the relentless cold bite. The cold temperature is mostly influenced by various phenomena of weather. It has been observed that the adverse effects are many. Many kinds of diseases affect people in cold weather; domestic animals suffer badly in such weather. Crops like paddy and potato production are badly affected by cold weather. The seedlings of winter paddy, called Boro rice get stunted by severe cold while potato may be damaged by fungal diseases like early and late blight. Mustard is another major crop of Bangladesh of winter which adds beauty to the nature by its vast expanses of yellow flowers. This crop may be devastated by the attack of an insect pest called Aphid in the foggy weather.
The winter is one of six vital seasons of Bangladesh. It would be a blessing unless the people are devastated by cold waves. This year the cold waves are biting hard causing great sufferings to peoples. We should view the current winter as an indication of climate change. Climate change is now one of the biggest problems across the globe as its impacts on human being and the environment are very terrible and prolonged. Almost all countries of the world are directly or indirectly affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Bangladesh is not immune to the adversities of climate change. Rather the country is at the high risk of natural disasters to its geographical location, low-lying landscape, density of population, poverty, illiteracy, alternation in the pattern of seasons, poor infrastructures and so on, according to researches. Excessive cold of this year is not any case apart from environmental catastrophe. Due to the adverse effects of climate change Bangladesh has been suffering in many ways. Natural calamities like excessive cold, excessive flood, drought, cyclone, river erosion and soon have been increasing over time hampering the human life and the overall economy. To stop or to protect the country from the adverse effects of climate change, some policies can be taken such as green the community, be energy efficient, choose renewable power, eat wisely, trim wastage, fly less, let polluters pay, support and donate. Apart from, by deeply digging canals and rivers, by planting trees, by reducing fuel use, the degree of the negative impact of climate change can be reduced. In addition, everyone should be very sincere to this terrible issue and the government should be very much careful to take effective policies to combat with this challenge.