Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

The heat death of our air

The country is still responsible for parts of its own environmental degradation

Update : 20 Apr 2024, 10:18 AM

One of the few upsides to the hotter seasons in Bangladesh has always been a relatively better quality of air compared to that of winter. However, over the past decade, the nation has steadily but surely observed that advantage erode, with the summer days now giving way to air quality that is nearly as bad as during the winter.

It has long been known that Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, a crisis that has been borne by the vigorous early industrialization of developed nations which continues to this day. But while Bangladesh has had absolutely no part in the ongoing climate crisis, the country is still responsible for parts of its own environmental degradation, primarily through unchecked levels of pollution.

And the fact that our air pollution is now getting worse during a time of year when, historically, it has been at its contextual best testifies to just how miserably the government has failed to retain our environmental integrity.

The PM2.5 -- small particulate pollutants that are 2.5 microns or smaller in size and can as a result bypass many of the body's defenses -- concentration in Dhaka’s air is currently several orders of magnitude above the World Health Organization’s annual air quality guideline value, the primary source of which are the numerous illegal brickfields dotting the outskirts of the capital city, while other sources such as emissions from out-of-service public transport, and the open placement of construction material out on the streets further exacerbate matters.

Until and unless the government starts to back up its intentions to improve the state of our environment with visible action, we will keep witnessing our air getting increasingly non-conducive to a healthy life.

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