Data on air and noise pollution at 10 spots in Dhaka are being gathered every day
Considering the sorry state of air and water quality as well as noise pollution in Dhaka, Waterkeepers Bangladesh has formed a coalition of journalists with the goal of having a broader impact of anti-pollution activities on the situation.
The journalists' coalition engages over two dozen journalists working at different national newspapers, including Dhaka Tribune, and several television channels, including Deepto TV.
The announcement of the coalition came at a virtual meeting held on Thursday afternoon during the implementation of a two-year anti-pollution advocacy project, titled “Promoting Democratic Governance and Collective Advocacy for Environmental Protection in Dhaka city.”
Waterkeepers Bangladesh is implementing the project in collaboration with USAID, FCDO and Counterpart International (CPI). The project aims at collecting information on pollution and changing the behavior and mindset of citizens as well as policymakers.
Sharif Jamil, consortium lead of Waterkeepers Bangladesh, moderated the event. The organization has been working towards ensuring a pollution-free environment since 2009.
The journalists under the coalition will work in association with Waterkeepers Bangladesh, and share knowledge in the media on air, sound and water pollution in Dhaka city to keep people informed and help check levels of contamination.
Prof Dr Ahmad Kamal Majumder, chairman of the Environmental Sciences Department of Stamford University, said that under the project, real-time information on particulate matters present in Dhaka’s air had been gathered since March this year.
“Data on air quality and noise pollution at 10 separate spots are being gathered every day and the process will continue for a year. We are also collecting weather information and the number of vehicles plying the streets.
At the end of the project, we will be able to provide scientifically significant data on Dhaka’s air quality,” he added.
The spots that have been selected are sensitive, residential, commercial, industrial and mixed areas of the city.
Moreover, the project aims at assessing the water quality of the rivers at four spots in and around the capital – Buriganga, Balu and Turag – and organizing river fests and carnivals alongside discussions with stakeholders round the year.
These spots have been selected to monitor the level of water pollution from three main sources – tannery and dyeing industries, and water vessels plying the rivers.