Decaying Earth

The overall global environment is declining fast and for Bangladesh it has been doing so more rapidly during the last few decades because of many obvious reasons. But we are still not surprised. We, all of us, pollute our own cities with trashes. So how can we claim owners of these factories, with hardly any education be conscious about the environment, feel the need to protect the environment? We need to count ourselves first to protect our own ecosystem to survive in an earth which will be a gift for our next generation – ONLY IF WE CARE

“Pollution is an immense crisis that is slowly destroying the world that we live in. It is crucial for every individual to do what he or she can to clean up the environment. Whether it is in the home or on a management level, or within us, every person is important and has the ability to make a difference and can help to stop pollution”

– GMB Akash

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The mighty river Buriganga is now so polluted that all fish have died, and increasing filth and human waste have turned it like a black gel. Even rowing across the river is now difficult for it smells so badly.

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Bangladesh has about 230 small and large rivers, and a large chunk of the country’s 140 million people depend on them for a living and for transportation. But experts say many of them are drying up or are choked because of pollution and encroachment. A World Bank study said four major rivers near Dhaka — the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu — receive 1.5 million cubic metres of waste water every day from 7,000 industrial units in surrounding areas and another 0.5 million cubic meters from other sources. There is no fish or aquatic life in this river apart from zero oxygen survival kind of organisms. Bangladesh enacted a law in 1995 making it compulsory for all industrial units to use effluent treatment plants in a bid to save river waters from pollution, but industry owners often flout the rule.pollution (3)

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Dhaka city alone generates about 3500 to 4000 m tons of solid wastes per day. The amount increases with the increase of population every year. The domestic, commercial, street sweeping, combustible and non-combustible wastes include discarded food, grass, plants, paper, cardboard, textiles, plastics, polythene materials, glass, metals, and construction debris.

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Industries and factories have been polluting the water bodies in and around Dhaka city for the longest time. There are about 1000 small and large industries in Dhaka city producing a large amount of toxic and hazardous wastes contributing significantly to environmental degradation. The emission of various greenhouse gases such as CO2, CH4, among others from various industries, increases the overall temperature of the earth, resulting in global warming and making the area unsuitable for human habitation, animals and plant species.In the Hazaribag area of Dhaka there are 149 tannery units daily producing about 18,000 litres of liquid wastes and 115 m tons of solid wastes; nearly all of these are dumped in the Buriganga river, and a part is thrown into nearby drains and sewers. These wastes contain sulphuric acid, chromium, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulphate, calcium oxides etc. These may seep into the ground causing ground water pollution. Also, the intense, unpleasant odour affects the health of the people of the surrounding area. tannery wastes have a very serious and negative effect on the ecosystem.

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‘It is very easy for every single person to help stop pollution and stop destructing the earth. It can take little effort, but can be something that makes a huge difference. Start by evaluating how you can make small changes. Even the smallest changes in your own life can have a massive impact.’

– GMB Akash

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28 thoughts on “Decaying Earth

  1. Thanks for this article.
    It’s a very serious issue which is difficult to deal with: there’s corruption between businessmen and politicians. Plus the lack of knowledge in the population, and/or the lack of abilities to actually do anything about the situation.
    Also there’s the culture of burning bodies by the rivers, and a lot of poor people dump dead bodies in the rivers. At least that’s what they do in India. I don’t know if that’s also the case for Bangladesh, but I assume their culture of burials is similar to that of India.


  2. Vivid images and information on why it is so important for each one of us to do our part in cleaning up our environment. If “each one teach one” we will go a long way towards cleaning up the mess. Thanks for sharing.



  3. Reblogged this on Bente Haarstad Photography and commented:
    I don’t usually reblog, of different reasons, but this post from GMB Akash is so important. Not the least for all of us who love nature, and love to see its fresh beauty and unspoilt wilderness: we must not forget that there are lot of destruction going on, and the pressure on unspoilt nature is just going to be more, not less. That’s reality not to be forgotten, and we shouldn’t let this happen.


  4. That is so disgusting! So many thoughts come to mind but it would take a few volumes of books to explore this subject. I try to do my bit but I’m afraid it isn’t going to help what’s happening in those places where there’s no education or regulation.


  5. Mind-boggling…heartbreaking…what we’ve done to our only planet and its residents in recent times. One can only hope that with education and knowledge, the tide will slowly turn. Thanks for such an insightful post.


  6. Thanks so much for this. Deeply moving. Hard to look at. I think instead of school outings to Krispy Kreme donut factories, schools should take their kids to landfill sites and polluted rivers, in a quest for solutions. In fact, grown ups should do that too. Would it be possible to hold an exhibition of these photos in my hometown of Bristol UK? How could this happen?


  7. I agree with Cardinal, there are so many things that we have to fight against to help this planet. Yet we should still keep on doing what we can. This was a very good blog for me to share with my little grandson.


  8. Dear Akas vai,
    U execute the issue so correctly and really we have to change these for a pollution free Bangladesh. We have to fight against this and every citizen has some duty on this issue. As a photographer U did ur job successfully hope ur strong work will make a change. we are with u always akas vai. keep going


  9. We as consumers have more power than we wish to admit. Our values are being reflected in the world that surrounds us. Most of us however turn a blind eye, These photos could have been taken in any of our back yards. This is the legacy we are leaving our children. Greed and consumerism. With every purchase that we make and every dollar with give. Large homes and neighbourhoods add as much to global warming as industry.

    Next time you make a purchase, ask yourself what cause are you supporting.

    Thank you for the attention you are giving these causes. Great photos. Love your first photo.


  10. A very poignant blog. Yes. we have to all care and take care of our little corner but, sadly, I have noticed that very often it is the little man who is the easiest to target when it comes to some clean-up measures because the little man is most likely to actually pay (mostly because of fear or lack of choice) but the big spot is too high to notice what is happening below and it is usually a little man who tells him that everything is ok. However, in the end big man or little man, we all have to live on this earth and height is not an excuse for ignorance,short-sightedness or irresponsibility. Of course, there are many big men doing their bit as there are many little men doing so. The greatest challenge is to grab and keep the attention of all those who sit in-between the biggest and the smallest.
    Fear mongering does not work. Showing how great the problem does not work. Blaming does not work. Being angry does not work. I am not even sure that education works!!!
    One may ask – then what does work????
    In today’s environment of cynicism, general distrust, fear and anger it would seem that there is very little that can be done. We may speak of love, honesty, integrity as possible tools but the question becomes who will speak of these and be believed?? The answer, I think is many layered and I could never even pretend to know all the layers or even know any of them but it seems to me that there has to be some reverse of reporting the good versus reporting the bad. Currently, whenever you put on the news or open the newspaper or listen to the news or engage with any kind of media, you already know what to expect – murder, rape, theft, genocide, war, ……… first and foremost right at the front of any media and then somewhere on some back page or close to back page are a few little tidbits of information about something positive to do with some rescue, assistance, care, love,reaching out, …. which could balance the news but few get to that point in the media because the first part is far too horrendous that it is not really possible to get too far beyond the mid point of any media reporting. Most movies are violent, stupid or so reality based that there is really no point in looking at the world around you . Yes, the thought-provoking, human stories are featured in all award-based festival or show but they are not heavily advertised. The world seems upside down with the worst at the top of the heap and the good at the bottom struggling to get past the worst there is to show or tell.
    Yes, we can all talk about human nature and blame it for all the ills of the world BUT as bad as mankind can be is how good it can be. Right now the BAD is at the centre of the stage hogging all the limelight but there was a time and there can again be that time when the GOOD can take centre stage and shine. The BRAVE NEW WORLD of Huxley is a lie as is THE LOST HORIZON idea. We cannot engineer out the negative nor live in complete utopia but we can open our minds and hearts to ourselves and our fellow beings on this earth – be they of 2 legs, 4 legs, no legs, feathers, vegetation, or rock matter. This is our home – this planet of ours. We may spent but a short time here but time we do spend here. We may not always know why we are here or if there be any purpose at all, but regardless we do owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be and give the best of ourselves to all we encounter. I believe that we are moving onto a new level of being and the sun will shine after the rain!!!!


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