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12:27 am | June 13, 2024
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eighty one endangered species of plants are found on the banks of karnaphuli river 
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environmental Problems

Eighty-one endangered species of plants are found on the banks of Karnaphuli River 

Eighty-one endangered species of plants are found on the banks of Karnaphuli River


The vegetation cover of Karnaphuli River is destroying at an alarming rate. There are forests upstream of the river flowing through hilly areas, but no forest cover has been seen downstream because of deforestation.

It’s a transboundary river that originated at Lusi Hills in Mizoram and Manipur, India, and entered Bangladesh at Ragamati Hill Tracts.

A group of researchers identified 528 species of plants on both banks from its Bangladesh entering point to Kaptai Dam.

However, most of the plants’ are upstream. Of these, the researchers there have identified 81 endangered species.

This picture emerged in a study conducted to determine the life nature, plant diversity, and pollution causes of the Karnaphuli River.

A group of teachers and students of Chattogram University were mainly involved in this research conducted by humanitarian, social development and research organisation Effective Creation on Human Opinion (ECHO).

Omar Farooq Russell, Associate Professor of the Botany Department of Chattogram University and the General Secretary of ECHO, has led the study.

Omar Farooq Russell said, “Out of 528 species of plants, 113 belong to the same family. Among them are 144 species of large trees, 69 species of shrubs, 58 species of creepers, 244 species of ferns, and 13 species of parasites.”

The survey took place from January to September this year. According to the study report, 155 plants identified in the Baklia iland are situated in the middle of the river.

On the other hand, there found 120 plants from the Bay of Bengal estuary to Kalurghat, the most polluted river area.

 The study team identified 355 medicinal plants in this study. Among themKalmegh, Hijal, Hurhuriya Flower, Holly Mangrove, Chatim, Akand, Tufani MATAA, Hatir sur tree,Sonalu, and Akash Bail

 has found. The number of species that may become endangered in the future is 63, such as Kutaja, Kurchi, Alstonia, Senna spectabilis trees, etc.

  Omar Farooq said, “Trees had been destroyed in various ways from the entering point of Bangladesh of the river to  Kalurghat. Meanwhile, trees have decreased for multiple reasons, including factories, settlements, and tree theft.”

However, from Kalurghat to Kaptai Dam, there are dense forests on both sides. They conducted the survey research in the area of up to 10 meters of both banks.

Besides, the team tested water samples for pollution in different parts of the river and identified the causes of the pollution of the river. According to the survey, about 50,000 open toilets are found on both sides of the river.

Apart from this, city waste, liquid, and solid waste from factories, poisons, waste of dried fish, pesticides, waste of 53 industries, 14 boat repair places, markets, drains, farms, etc., are the leading causes of pollution. Apart from this, plastic and polythene play a significant role in pollution.

From the press conference, it was learned that 85 merchant ships, 405 coaster ships, 264 fishing trawlers, and nine tug boats, including sampans, small boats, foreign vessels, and trawlers, are moving in the Karnaphuli river. These boats dump waste, burnt oil, etc., directly into the river.

The study team also noted the normal navigability of the river and the normal movement of aquatic animals, including dolphins, have been obstructed due to numerous boats anchored from the Bay of Bengal estuary to the Kalurghat area. A team of researchers has identified the Shikalbaha area as a habitat for dolphins.

Eighty-one species of endangered plants may be lost in the future if river encroachment and pollution have not stopped. Apart from this, further damage to the forest area is dangerous.

Due to the mixture of various harmful chemicals in the river, it is mentioned that there is a severe health risk to the people who depend on the river for their daily activities.

The study made various recommendations, including not throwing polythene and other materials in the river, stopping waste disposal, stop throwing household waste.

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