“The land where I grew up was very rich. The property was…

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“The land where I grew up was very rich. The property was empty when my father bought it, but he plowed it with cows and grew many crops there. He built it up from nothing. I have many memories there as a child. The land was next to a river. There were lots of coconut trees. The trees didn’t belong to anyone but they felt like my own. My father died when I was five years old and passed the land on to me. It was my only possession. It was my back-up plan. I worked as a janitor in the city, but I always returned to visit my mother and bring her money. It was in my twenties that I began to notice that the river was eroding the soil. Every time I returned, a bit more had fallen into the water. There was nothing I could do. We stayed until the water was five feet from our door. On the day we left, my mother told me: ‘One day you’ll realize how hard your father worked for this.’ And that’s the hardest part. The land was my only memory of my father. And now I can’t show it to my kids. I feel like it’s not just my inheritance that’s underwater, but all my father’s hard work.”

(Dhaka, Bangladesh)