Protect water bodies, protect lives
The Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has encouraged people to use environment friendly items instead of plastic, in order to keep environment free from artificial waste. He urged in a workshop on waste management, held on Monday, jointly organized by his ministry and the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme. One of the key objectives of his call is to achieve United Nations prescribed SDGs.
Waste is what we throw away, and waste management means controlling, producing and dumping of wastes and garbage in such a way that it would not cause health and environment hazards. The inland water bodies, however, the most sensitive part of our environment are the prime victims of indiscriminate dumping of all types of waste.
According to the statistics of 2012, Bangladesh produces around 22.4 million tonnes of waste per year while the projected waste generation is 47,064 tonnes per day by 2025. And the largest portion of this waste is discharged in water without treatment, mainly in rivers. Without proper waste management we will be unable to keep our water bodies clean and in normal condition.
Needless to say that proper management of waste is not only important to preserve environment but also for ensuring a sound economy as well as ensuring safer public health.
Unrefined, toxic and imperishable waste thrown in water reduces the proportion of dissolved oxygen, changes the pH of water and alters the hydrogen bond of water. And thus, the aquatic life comes under direct threat of being extinct.
As a result, millions of people will come under threat to lose their livelihood while the government will be denied significant amount of revenue from this sector.
However, to protect water bodies from being contaminated, preventive measures should be taken to address the sources of pollution: industries are the sole largest source of water pollution which indiscriminately dumps heavy metals and toxic chemicals into our ponds, canals and rivers.
In order to protect our water bodies, government should strictly implement existing environment related laws, if needs be, enact newer laws by making effluent treatment plants mandatory for each and every industry. Furthermore, blanket use of pesticides and fertilizers should be controlled so that they cannot be washed away into water bodies. At the same time common peoples' participation is a must to protect our water bodies from destruction.