Air pollution levels in the capital have become ‘extreme’

Year after year, Dhaka continues to dominate the list of cities with the worst air quality in the world. 

This is especially a problem during the winter season, with the quality improving during monsoon season. Even then, the people of the city are not that much better nor is it an issue that remains beyond our control to improve.

At the end of the day, the root cause remains the culture of negligence that permeates issues surrounding pollution, with discharges of dust from construction projects and smoke from vehicles and brick kilns being the main culprits of this chokehold on the city.

According to the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, the air pollution levels in the capital have become “extreme,” with brick kilns in particular contributing to about 60% of the air pollution in the capital.

It is encouraging to note that the authorities themselves have recognized the severity of the problem and, furthermore, that there are plans to shut down traditional brick kilns and stop burning bricks altogether by 2025.

While this is encouraging, the aforementioned decision to stop only applies to construction being carried out under government projects. In addition, with experts continuously asserting the need for radical change in the fight against climate change, it is of the utmost importance that we act accordingly.

Considering the fact that air pollution ranks among the top risk factors when it comes to death and disability worldwide, our actions to curtail its use must work towards ending it immediately, and apply to all construction nationwide in order to ensure the health, safety, and sustainable development of the nation. 

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