In the whole of last year, we experienced only 59 days of “good” quality air, according to the Department of Environment.
The elevated pollution levels in the country’s air are primarily due to the rise of fine particles and coarse dust, both of which are around eight to 13 times higher in Dhaka than what is considered safe by experts.
Adding to the problem, are the exhaust fumes from vehicles, and brick kilns -- which operate during the dry season from October to March.
A rise in respiratory disease is seen every year around this time, and the victims are usually children.
Furthermore, the top 10 causes of deaths in the country include lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, strokes, and more -- all of which can be directly and indirectly linked to air pollution.
The problem is now too big to ignore.
While there are laws in place to control vehicle and factory emissions, they need to be strictly implemented.
With over 24,000 vehicles taking to the streets of Dhaka every day, there is a dire need for rigorous administration of policies regarding the lubricants and fuels which are used.
Road repairs, then, should be a priority for the government.
Indeed, more measures need to be taken to tackle the problem of the air we breathe, and treat the issue more seriously.
Pollution in the air is mostly an enemy we cannot see, but it is an evil that must be reckoned with, for the sake of our health, and the health of our children.