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Want to avoid city flooding? Save our canals

  • Published at 06:29 pm September 12th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:20 pm September 12th, 2017
Want to avoid city flooding? Save our canals
Life in the already-congested Dhaka city comes to a standstill whenever we get moderate to heavy rainfall, delaying economic activity, and generally causing distress for us city-dwellers. Unfortunately, over the past few years and certainly this year, nature has decided to be overly generous with the rain and it does not look like it is about to stop. The lack of proper drainage causes rainwater to collect and flood the streets until the city is essentially waterlogged, thus severely limiting mobility in the biggest city and commercial hub of the country. And all this happens because we do not have enough canals in the city and we are losing existing ones to land-grabbers and landfills. Canals are the only conduit for rainwater to flow into the surrounding rivers and out of Dhaka city, and so we must save them if we are to solve the waterlogging problem. Within only 40 years, Dhaka city has lost around 10 canals to encroachment and unplanned garbage disposal. The government has taken the correct step by setting up a task force to recover lost or shrinking canals and digging up new ones, but it is extremely important that the taskforce actually follows through and carries out its mandate like it is supposed to. It is a tall order as it will involve fighting land-grabbers and tackling our waste disposal problem, but with the right leadership from the Dhaka City Corporation mayors, they can do it.