Bangladesh – River Buriganga ‘The Life of Dhaka’ Turned Toxic
Buriganga River was once called the life of Dhaka, where people used to gather on the river banks during the afternoons and evenings of everyday, aquatic life was prospering and Hilsa fish was the river gift to the people of the city, but now it’s all just history. These days the river is called the dying river, since an excessive pollution is hitting the river and is threatening biodiversity and public health. According to several studies on the Buriganga River, many causes for the river’s pollution were identified, such as sedimentation at the upstream, encroachment, and disposal of solid wastes, sewage and industrial wastes in the river. The history, livelihood, culture and heritage of Dhaka City have been largely shaped by this small but important river. During the British Period, Buriganga River bank was considered to be the most scenic place in Dhaka for its natural beauty, and the river was once used as the main source of water supply for Dhaka’s residents. More than four hundred years later, the river still continues to play a very important role, since according to officials, an average of 30,000 people are using Sadarghat launch terminal – one of the largest river ports in the world – for departure and arrival every day.