Encroachment, pollution, drying up or getting reduced to miniscule canals –these are some of the words and terms aptly used to point the existing picture of rivers of the country whenever a piece is written about them. For long, this has been an issue that requires strong-handed government intervention, and we have seen repeated campaigns against river encroachers, but to no avail. The land sharks once again don their previous face to redo the act of grabbing as soon as the demolition drive ends.
In order to solve this problem, it is necessary to detect and identify the people who are behind creating this nagging issue over and over again. A report published in this daily says that the government’s initiatives always go in vain as a section of powerful individuals, business establishments and institutions are engaged in grabbing the rivers across the country.
The report also underscored a survey by the Department of Environment (DoE) that shows 88 percent of river pollution is caused by effluents and wastes and illegal land grabbing. This is something that is taught to children in schools. Despite this the situation is not improving, rather the situation has turned bad to worse and rivers have started to dry up and in their place knee-deep canals have started to appear.
If there are no conservation efforts made on the rivers very soon,
the sentence that ‘Bangladesh is a
reverine country’ might lose its credibility.
In this regard extreme conservation of rivers is necessary. Sadly, a World Bank funded project named Bangladesh Rivers Information and Conservation Project worth $180 million Bangladesh Water Development Board has been dropped. Had this project been implemented properly it would have resulted in some sort of concrete effort in protecting the rivers.
“Bangladesh is a reverine country” is a sentence that is heard in schools and so far it is still true. However, if there are no conservation efforts made on the rivers very soon, this truth might lose its credibility. Already, the conscious people titter whenever such a sentence is used in public sphere. This is something that requires the utmost focus of the government.
Since one of the SDGs is ‘climate action’, it is high time to take the effective and affirmative action to stop river encroachment and pollution in the country to protect the climate and ecology.