Photographer Jashim Salam: My City Is Flooding

Photographer Jashim Salam: My City Is Flooding

To see how photographers are documenting climate change around the world, watch our video Climate Change Is Real.  

“The climate change story I want to tell is about the tidal flooding in Chittagong, a city I’m deeply connected to,” says photojournalist Jashim Salam. Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh, with more than 6.5 million people. It’s also Jashim’s hometown.

A family watching TV in an inundated house, waiting for water to recede during a tidal flood in Chittagong. © Jashim Salam

For the past eight years, Jashim has been documenting the flooding around Chittagong and other coastal areas of Bangladesh. The subjects of his photos are his family, his neighbors and the people greatly affected by the floods. He’s documenting what’s around him not only as a photojournalist, but also as a victim.

A woman with her kid wades through a flooded street in Chaktai during the tidal flood in Chittagong. © Jashim Salam

And the images are important. “As a documentary photographer, I’m witnessing the changes in my own own city,” says Jashim.  

“Every year, the water levels are rising, so these images show the damage caused and help people understand how climate change is truly impacting our community.”

A girl wading through water on her way to school during a tidal flood in Chaktai, Chittagong. © Jashim Salam

In nearly a decade, Jashim has never experienced the kind of flooding he sees now. “My home and my family’s home get flooded regularly,” he says. “The shops get shut down. People can’t do their jobs. Children can’t go to school. And some have decided to leave their homes altogether and move elsewhere.”

A girl named Saraf sits on a submerged car and looks their home flooded by tidal surge in Chittagong. © Jashim Salam

A student returns from school in knee deep water during heavy tidal flood in Chittagong. © Jashim Salam

The pictures speak volumes. There is water everywhere and Jashim is deeply concerned about his  city and its future. “The rising sea level and the changing climate has made such an impact on that I may have to leave myself,” he says.

Jashim believes that it’s his job, and job of photographers, to document climate change so the world can witness what’s happening to the planet. “Through our images, we must reach as many people as possible so they can see that climate change is real,” he says.

Jashim also believes that the government and the international community must take stronger initiatives to minimize the effect of climate change and take better action to help save our planet.

“If anyone thinks climate change is not happening, these images will prove you wrong. Just look.”

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What changes do you see? Email climatechange@photoshelter.com with your photo and the story behind it. We’ll choose several stories to share (and do so only with your permission).

*We strongly support your rights as a photographer. We will not use your images without your permission, and we claim no commercial rights to them.

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