Pollution rampant in Kishoreganj rivers, biodiversity threatened

Fishermen are switching to other professions

Published : 21 Feb 2023 08:55 PM

Kishoreganj district, inhabited by Haor is known as a fishery region. However, because rivers, canals and ponds are polluted, fish are not available as before. And so many fishermen have moved to other professions in search of livelihood.

It is known that there are 26 rivers, 347 Beels and 122 Haors in the district. Over time, most of these water bodies have been polluted by non-biodegradable plastic waste including various wastes, polythene, packets of biscuits and chips. Despite being ahead of other districts in fish production, fishermen are worried about how to earn a living by catching fish in the future. In order to make a living, some have changed their professions, some have become auto rickshaw drivers, some have become garment factory workers.

According to the District Fisheries Office, the number of fishermen registered in the district is 69 thousand 825 people. However, according to the information of various non-governmental organizations, at least five thousand fishermen have left their profession and moved to other professions.

Fishermen say that the majority of the amount of fish they catch has to be paid to repay the loan. One has to spend his days starving and half-starved with his family. So many were forced to change profession.

Ali is a resident of Gaital area of Sadar Upazila. Even 15-20 years ago, Narsunda River was providing fishes in a large quantity so fishermen in the area were living by catching fish from the river throughout the year. He said that the Narsunda river has become polluted due to various wastes. Fishing is not possible even if you sit down day after day.

Md Islam of Itna Upazila said, 'We earn our livelihood only by catching fish. The way the water is getting polluted, I think I will not be able to stay in this profession in the future.'

Jalal Uddin of Kishoreganj Sadar Upazila said, the drain leaves various waste in the water. The water is very smelly. How will there be fish in this river?

Rubaiyat Tahrim Sourav, Senior Chemist of Kishoreganj Environment Department, said, "We are working at the field level to prevent pollution by coordinating the administration, public representatives and water development board. We are conducting workshops with industrial entrepreneurs and common people so that no waste is thrown into the water.

District Fisheries Officer Ripon Kumar Pal said that every year 5 to 10 percent fishermen give up their profession. The fish produced in Kishoreganj is in surplus compared to the demand and plays a role in meeting the fish demand of the country. Therefore, efforts are being made to bring them back to this profession.