The late aughts wreaked havoc on the Sundarbans, the location of the world’s largest mangrove forest and home to a dwindling number of endangered Bengal tigers. Situated along the India–Bangladesh border, the Sundarbans was hammered by Cyclone Sidr, in 2007, and then again by Cyclone Aida, in 2009, resulting in over thirty-five hundred deaths and the disappearance of more than twice that many people. Over twenty feet of water immersed the region, breaching the embankments that separated the rivers and lakes from the Bay of Bengal, which dramatically altered the ecosystem.
The Bangladeshi photographer Ismail Ferdous has been documenting the fallout from these cyclones since 2011—the struggle to live off salinated land; the threat posed by the region’s hungry tigers, who feed on farmers forced deep into the forests to fish and collect honey; and the lack of drinking water, which has forced people to collect rainwater and travel long distances to survive. “There is water everywhere,” Ferdous writes, “but not a drop to drink.”
Here’s a look:
Source: The New Yorker