Secretary of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Dr Farhina Ahmed has said that the government has allocated $50 million under the Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation project to support those involved in converting traditional burnt bricks to eco-friendly block bricks.
She said this while speaking at a workshop as the chief guest at the Department of Environment (DoE) in the capital on Monday (September 25).
The workshop was organized for all the stakeholders to achieve the target of using blocks instead of burnt bricks in government construction works to reduce air pollution and preserve agricultural land.
Dr Abdul Hamid, director general of the Department of Environment (DoE); presided over the workshop, while Edimon Ginting, country director of Asian Development Bank (ADB); and Md Mizanur Rahman, additional secretary of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry; spoke as special guests.
Mirza Showkat Ali, director of DoE; presented the keynote at the event, while Md Nafizur Rahman, principal research officer of House Building Research Institute; and Lt Col Md Sakhawat Hossain, managing director of Block Manufacturer Association; presented two research papers.
Dr Farhina Ahmed said that the allocation, managed by the same department, will fund activities like incentives and training for those involved in the transition to block bricks. “To ease the transition to block bricks, the government wants to extend a hand of support to entrepreneurs of all kinds,” he said.
The Environment Secretary emphasized that cooperation from the private sector is crucial for sustainable development, including the improvement of environmental quality.
She said that if brick kilns can be controlled, the air quality will improve, and the protection of biodiversity and natural resources will be enhanced. “Suggestions from stakeholders on issues, including the protection of citizens, and the use of green technologies to meet national and international obligations related to reducing carbon emissions, are welcome,” she commented.
“To reduce the air pollution and preserve agricultural land, various initiatives have been taken to increase the use of block bricks instead of burnt bricks in government constructions,” she said.
She further said, “To achieve this objective, we all need to take the initiative to increase the use of block bricks in private construction as well.”