Ideas That Float

Part of the Climate Change exhibition.

The Issue: Rural Flooding

Major floods during monsoons wash out crops, leaving residents with little food and no source of income. Survival strategies may need to become more widespread as the climate changes.

The Strategy: Floating Gardens

Instead of getting bogged down by rising water, Bangladeshis make floating garden plots to grow pumpkins, gourds, leafy greens, onions, and other vegetables.

Building on local knowledge, relief groups are spreading the word and training more Bangladeshi people to use this traditional technology. The groups show growers the best ways to lash together bamboo using water hyacinth, a local weed, and add dirt and manure to make the soil rafts. Each year, older gardens fertilize new ones, and families can transport the rafts if they need to relocate.