It is time to get serious about protecting the rivers that can still be saved
Bangladesh is known as a riverine country, which makes it all the more tragic that some of our rivers are so polluted that they appear to be beyond saving.
Hundreds of dead fish belonging to about 20 different species have been found floating in the Halda River, and the primary cause, without a doubt, is water pollution caused by human activity.
And it is not just the Halda River -- our rivers Buriganga, Shitalakkhya, Dhaleshwari, and numerous others have been found to be so severely contaminated that it has become impossible to even treat the water to make it safe and usable for people.
Rivers are an inextricable part of our heritage and livelihood, and the pollution levels in our rivers should act as an urgent call for action.
It is time to get serious about protecting the rivers that can still be saved, but for that to happen the government must act immediately.
The first order of business is to stop the harmful discharge of thousands of tons of industrial garbage and sewage water into our rivers.
In previous years, efforts to clean up our rivers have been ineffective due to the impunity granted to polluters.
No more. Industrial locations such as tanneries must be relocated away from rivers, and polluters must be made to pay for the damage they cause.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recognized the need for protecting our water resources, and it is high time we listened.
Clean water is not just a luxury, but an absolute necessity for life -- we simply cannot go on abusing our rivers.