'The illegal extraction of stones and boulders from streams and hills has caused many brooks and streams to dry up'
At least 400 streams and waterfalls in Bandarban district have dried out due to stone extraction, said experts at a conference.
The experts were speaking at a conference arranged by the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) and Bangladesh Nadi Paribrajak Dal (Bangladesh River Explorers Association), at Bandarban Hill View Convention Center on Friday.
"The illegal extraction of stones and boulders from streams and hills has caused many brooks and streams to dry up,” Nadi Paribrajak Dal President Monirul Islam, said at the event.
“All our lives are solely dependent on our rivers so it is high time to preserve them."
The two-day long conference will conclude on Saturday.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Chittagong, Abdul Mannan, presided over the conference with NRCC chairman, Dr Muzibur Rahman Howlader, as chief guest.
Member of the National River Conservation Committee, Sharmeen Sonia Murshid, said: "Illegal river encroachment is destroying the natural balance of our environment. It should be stopped at once."
River conservation activist Monirul Islam said: "We should all come forward to preserve our rivers. Sangu, one of the major rivers of Bandarban, needs conservation as soon as possible."
The conference will include seminars and informative sessions on river conservation, water crisis and solutions in hill tract areas, and development projects to mitigate problems.