• Thursday, Jul 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:33 am

ED: High time for better waste management

  • Published at 08:29 am July 18th, 2021
river pollution
Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Researchers have identified untreated sewage as the primary driver for this spread

It is among the saddest realities for the residents of Dhaka, that the once mighty Buriganga river is now among the most polluted rivers in the country. This, unfortunately, is not just the reality for Tyr Buriganga, but most water bodies in Dhaka, which continue to become more contaminated and polluted by the day.

However, the primary culprit of the sorry state of our water bodies are the people themselves -- not only do we pollute our rivers and water bodies by all the industrial waste dumped into them from the factories that surround them, the condition is further aggravated by all the human waste released directly into the water as well.

While industrial waste comes from the impunity enjoyed by these factories who are free to pollute our waters with little to no consequences, human waste mostly arises from the utter lack of sanitation and sewage facilities in the slums -- which are very densely crowded and have millions of people -- that surround our lakes and rivers.

This callous and negligent treatment has resulted in our waters becoming a dangerous breeding ground for “superbugs” -- antibiotic resistance genes -- that will potentially have devastating consequences, both for the citizens of Dhaka through the infections they inevitably cause, and for the environment at large.

Researchers have identified untreated sewage as the primary driver for this spread, and it is time to address this issue with the seriousness that it has warranted for a long time. It is inexcusable that for a country that speaks so proudly of development, we have such poor sanitation and sewage treatment facilities, and moving forward, dumping untreated sewage waters into our water bodies must be stopped at all costs.

Bangladesh has unfortunately continued to lag behind with regard to waste management, be it human waste and sewage, industrial waste, or medical waste that increased in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is about time that the authorities concerned realize this weakness, and pay more attention to rectify it.

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