Speakers at a discussion have demanded that the government authorities concerned need to concentrate on improving the lives of garbage collecting children in Bangladesh’s urban areas, particularly Dhaka’s North and South city corporations, if the sustainable development goals are to be fulfilled.
The demand was made in a seminar titled “The Legal Framework of Municipal Waste Management and Legal Accreditation for Informal Waste Pickers,” jointly organised by Grambangla Unnyan Committee (GUC) and Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) at Dhaka Reporters Unity on Monday.
BMSF General Secretary Khairuzzaman Kamal moderated the event and also displayed a documentary on waste management, while GUC Executive Director AKM Maksud gave the key note speech.
Various environmentalists, NGO officials, academics, senior journalists and a number of garbage collectors, including women and children were present.
“In Bangladesh’s urban areas, there are around 400,000 people who survive by collecting, storing and selling solid waste materials. Most of them are women and children,” said Maksud.
Referring to reports by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and the Department of Environment, the UGC executive director said over 10,000 tons of waste was produced in 2017, with 0.56kg of waste generated per person.
Maksud also said it was essential to ensure the basic rights of garbage collecting children, such as education, healthcare and accommodation, if Bangladesh wished to meet the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2013.