Quantcast

Creating a Swimmable Buriganga River in Bangladesh

The joy of diving into a pool of freshwater is an unparalleled life experience, and for many generations until now has been a readily available opportunity. Ponds, streams and riversa gift from nature.

To observe Waterkeeper Swimmable Water Weekend 2014, we organized a public gathering and community swimming event in the area. Photo credit: Buriganga Riverkeeper

But economic expansion and population growth, powerfully backed by commercial interests, has for many decades now diminished this experience. Our future generations do not have the opportunity for this experience. It is more of a privilege than everyday act to be able to swim in clean, fresh water. The river Buriganga, lifeline of Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, is such an example. For several years now this river has been maltreated by the residents of Dhaka, leading to it being recognized as a “Black River.”

Buriganga Riverkeeper, part of Waterkeeper Alliance, has been actively working towards rehabilitating the river. Today, at the Bosila area of the river, we have demanded it be pollution-free and swimmable throughout the year. To observe Waterkeeper Swimmable Water Weekend 2014, we organized a public gathering and community swimming event in the area.

Waterkeeper Swimmable Water Weekend 2014 in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Buriganga Riverkeeper

The event on Aug. 9 was chaired by former advisor to the government,  activist and advocate Sultana Kamal. She said, “The rivers are controlled and occupied by only a handful of individuals and organizations. They need to be brought under state supervision for the sake of the nation.” Kamal added, “We should all work together to save our rivers, and everyone should act as a Riverkeeper. If we don’t save our rivers, we will not be able to save our city and civilization.”

Read page 1

She was joined by others who echoed similar thoughts. Rasheda K. Chowdhury has called for the attention of the Honorable Prime Minister and suggested speedy action towards saving the river. Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Magsaysay award winner and representing Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA), said, “A lot of the pillars used to demarcate the river area are done in a way that seems there is no riverbank. Moreover, there is also lack of political will power. In order to strengthen this, local residents have to play an important role.”

Waterkeeper Swimmable Water Weekend 2014 in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Buriganga Riverkeeper

Hasan Masud, popular cultural personality; Gazi Ashraf Lipu, former captain of Bangladesh National Cricket Team; freedom fighter Sultan Ahmed Tipu, Shahjahan Mridha Benu, joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon; and Mohammad Manik Hossain, chairperson of Bosila Primary School, also attended and spoke in support of clean water.

The 13 organizations supporting the event include: Bosila United Club, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), WBB Trust, Green Voice, Aachol Trust, Sobuj Pata, Mastul Foundation, Himu Paribohon, Paribartan Chai, NDF, Friends of Rivers and Green Magazine. Residents of Bosila were active participants during the event, which was organized and facilitated by Buriganga Riverkeeper, Sharif Jamil.

You Might Also Like

In Deep Water—Bangladesh Waterkeeper Provides Hope for Revival of the Buriganga River

Devil in the Deep Blue Sea: How Many Dead Zones Are Out There?

Businesses Unite for Swimmable, Fishable and Drinkable Water

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less