The recent devastating flood-hit area of Bangladesh, Sylhet, is now flooded with plastic pollution
Jamila Bibi and her husband Bilal Miah are residents of Lalpur village in flood-hit Sunamganj Sadar Upazila, who have three sons and daughters. They have received relief supplies four times since the floods began. Each time they found a packet wrapped in Rexene containing 5 kg of rice, onions, garlic, candles, oil, pulses, salt, potatoes, saline, bottled water, powder, matchboxes, medicines, and more.
Almost every material wraps in polythene separately. Each time they received an average of 15 polythene with a relief box and have received more than 60 polythene with relief materials.
Jamila Bibi said she had left some of the polythene, which was a bit bigger. The same thing happened with plastic bottles.
About 3.5 million people live in the Sylhet region. About 2.2 million of them are flood-prone. Besides, 90 percent of the 3 million residents of Sunamganj get directly affected by the flood this time. The government, as well as various non-governmental organizations, are providing relief to a large number of these people.
Polythene uses as a wrapper so that the relief materials remain unwet in rainy weather because of availability. However, this natural disaster has led to another environmental crisis.
Because this polythene is not perishable, it also blocks the drainage of stored water. As a result, Sylhet’s divisional city is in a polythene pollution crisis. This pollution spreads beyond the city limits to the agricultural villages and haor area.
Experts say the production, marketing, and use of polythene and disposable plastics should stop to avoid long-term disasters. The residents of Sylhet have received 1,495 metric tons of rice, 17,218 packets of dry food, and BDT20.26 million in cash.
Besides the government, Bashundhara Group (5,500 packets), Pran RFL Group (4,000 packets), Jamuna Group (2,500 packets), Chevron (1,470 packets), and other traders and voluntary organizations have distributed relief.
The government has also provided 1,156 metric tons of rice and 23,000 packets of dry food in Sunamganj. Various non-governmental organizations have distributed about 50,000 relief packets.
Now it is essential to consider that each relief package contained almost the same type of material that Jamila Bibi and her family received.
Apart from this, various other organizations and individuals also distributed relief whose accounts are not with the local administration. However, it can assume that the relief packaging is also made of polythene.