Commuters have to wade through drain water to get to work
nce again, rain has caused large parts of the country to go under water, including Bangladesh’s port city of Chittagong, where the overnight downpour has led to many areas in the city to become quickly inundated, causing immense suffering to residents.
For a nation that experiences two monsoons every year, it seems that we are fundamentally unprepared to deal with rain, whether it is in regions near rivers or coasts, where the rise of water levels causes entire houses and farms to become submerged, or in cities, where water-logging as a result of poor infrastructure and drainage systems leads to a city floating on filthy drain water.
For a nation that is eyeing middle-income status and seeking further foreign investment, it does not bode well when both its capital and its primary port city have such poor drainage systems that commuters have to wade through drain water to get to work and their respective public transport systems essentially shut down.
This is not to mention the fact that, as we try to fight the coronavirus pandemic and record numbers of dengue cases, there is potential for waterborne and other types of diseases to spread rapidly in such a situation.
Even though the government had approved a project worth almost Tk8,000 crore for the Chittagong Development Board to alleviate the water-logging crisis in 2017, people’s suffering has only gotten worse in the ensuing days, with work in the project only half done.
With so much inefficiency and ineptitude marking our infrastructural projects, delays have become all too common, and until we solve this problem inherent within our governance, sustainable development for our nation will continue to be a dream that never comes true.