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effective measures to protect rivers in bangladesh are essential to protect the environment
Bangladesh Environment Protection

Effective measures to protect rivers in Bangladesh are essential to protect the environment

Effective measures to protect rivers in Bangladesh are essential to protect the environment

Most of the world’s cities and ports are built around the sea. Similarly, human civilization and cultural development have also revolved around rivers. And our country is a riverine country. Rivers like a net surround Bangladesh. But ‘just as people don’t understand the status of teeth when they have teeth, we don’t give the status of rivers when they have rivers.’

We are constantly engaged in the killing spree of the rivers that sustain the flow of life. This is bad news for the economy and for the way of life.

Therefore, effective initiatives to protect rivers are essential to keep our biochemistry alive. Rivers are our souls, blood vessels in our bodies, heartbeats. Considering this importance, if the river is not allowed to remain as a river, the economy, civilization, culture – all will be threatened.

Recently, the number of rivers in the country has been mentioned as 405 in the list of the Bangladesh Water Development Board. Among them, information on 80 rivers has come up in the Rangpur division.

In the draft information of the Bangladesh National River Protection Commission, out of the 907 rivers of the country, 121 rivers are mentioned in the Rangpur division. Apart from these 121 rivers, there are hundreds of other rivers in the region. On behalf of the Riverine People, the Commission submitted the names of more than 100 rivers.

Of these, 63 are illustrated, 16 are short introductions, and 26 more are named. Meanwhile, the commission has written to the concerned district commissioners seeking information on many rivers.

In the letter, they expressed fear and said, ‘If the river does not survive, the country will not survive, nature will not survive, the environment will not be protected, even sustainable development is not possible.’

At present, the rivers are disturbed by aggressive encroachment all over the country. A picture of encroachment and pollution is visible on the banks of any river. In this situation, the existence of many rivers is now under threat.

Many rivers have already disappeared. 175 of the country’s 405 rivers are on the verge of extinction in the last 4 decades due to encroachment and pollution alone. The remaining 230 are also at risk.

In Bangladesh, 24,000 kilometers of waterways have been reduced to 16,000 kilometers. It is a serious threat to agriculture, communication, the environment, biodiversity, and human livelihood. The need to protect rivers and water bodies cannot be overstated.

A recent study says that 11 types of harmful metals have been found in the water of different rivers of Dhaka-Chattagram. Among the rivers, lakes, or canals analyzed in the study are Brahmaputra, Buriganga, Turag, Balu, Shitalakshya, Dhaleswari, Banshi, Dhalai Beel, Meghna, Surma, Karnaphuli, Halda, Khiru, Karatoa, Teesta, Rupsa, Pasur, Sangu, Kaptai Lake, Matamuhuri, Naf, Bakkhali, Kasalong, Chingi, Bhairav, Mayur and Rajkhali canals.

The presence of zinc, copper, iron, lead, cadmium, nickel, manganese, arsenic, chromium, carbon monoxide and mercury in the water of these reservoirs is more than the acceptable level.

Experts say that in the last 40 years, continuous rivers around Dhaka and Chattagram have been subjected to extreme levels of pollution. Kirtankhola in Barisal, Khakdon river in Barguna are also dying. Not only are the rivers getting encroached upon, heavy metals in the industrial effluents mix with the water creating serious pollution in the river bed.

Especially during the dry season, the concentration of harmful metals in river water is high. The National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) started preparing the list in 2019 to determine the actual number of rivers in the country. After nearly four years of work, the draft list of 907 rivers was published on the organization’s website on August 10, 2023.

River researchers have already started raising questions about this number. Even the NRCC draft data does not match with the river data published by public and private organizations.

According to the researchers, it is important to protect the rivers and streams for sustainable development of the country, social and environmental balance along economic development. According to research, humans have lost 20 percent of arable land, 30 percent of forest land, and 10 percent of pasture land in the last 50 years.

Agricultural land is shrinking by 1 percent every year due to housing and industrialization alone. At the same time, biodiversity is also disappearing. More than half of the rivers have already disappeared. The rest are plagued by pollution and encroachment.

To establish the economy that is needed for sustainable development, the river must be restored to its lost glory and youth, its flow must be maintained.

Because rivers are closely related to our nature, economy, tourism, transportation, and environment. Sustainable development and protection of rivers should be moved forward collectively. The use of rivers is now multi-dimensional.

People are using the river without realizing it. Big factories have been built near the river, and thousands of launch steamers are now running on the river. Hundreds of dams in the river. Rivers are being used as needed, including river encroachment, and river pollution.

If the departmental river, canal, bill, and reservoir committee formed by the National River Protection Commission is effective, it will be easier to identify the river. The National River Protection Commission should not finalize the number of rivers.

Because when the names of the rivers are available, the work of adding them will continue. National River Protection Commission is playing an important role in removing that shame. The list of rivers should be 100% objective – that is our expectation.

To keep the environment, nature, biodiversity, economy alive, it is essential to preserve rivers for sustainable development. If these things are not done, there will be more crisis in the future. Surely no one expects that apocalyptic time.

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