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Death Of A Country
This is the Death of a Country
by Nasim Hasan
July 07, 2011It is now monsoon in Bangladesh. In most rivers water level is rising. As a result the riverside low lands are going under water in most of the parts across the country during this time. These monsoon water flooded low lands are called ‘khal’, ‘bil’, ‘haor’ etc. in Bangladesh. These places are ideal for fish to hatch their eggs. Generally the breeding season of most fishes in Bangladesh starts from mid April to late July. As new monsoon water emerges, fish arrive too, to complete their life cycle. In this country most riverside low lands are used for cultivating rice. Farmers cut the crops just before the monsoon and when these lands go under water they provide enough food and shelter for fish to hatch their eggs and for the hatchlings to thrive and grow.

In Bangladesh fishing during this time is prohibited by law. Because fish go to shallow waters for hatching and raising their hatchlings and fish are at their most vulnerable during this time. As Bangladesh is an agricultural country and most of the people in this country live bellow the poverty line and as there remains very little scope for farming related jobs during monsoon, a large number of farming people become involved in fishing during this time to maintain their family. Graved female fish become their primary targets. Because they are easy to catch and they are sold in a higher price. This way many species of Bangladeshi fish have already gone extinct and many more are in the pipeline.Pollution is another reason for the extinction of many species of fish. Its hard to believe how a whole country can be turned into a massive garbage field in just 20 years. The wind of globalization hit the country in late 1980s. The government of Bangladesh invited foreign investor with very liberal policy to invest. As a result rapid industrialization took place both in government and private sectors. By the new millennium thousands of industries established around the country. The pioneer in this sector was the so-called RMG (Ready Made Garments). Cheap labor, very liberal government policy and infrastructural advantages managed to bring foreign investment on a massive scale. This certainly has changed the economy of Bangladesh dramatically. An agricultural country turned into an industrial country virtually over night. This created a huge employment opportunity countrywide. Soon te RMGs sector became the most major contributor to the national GDP. But one thing had been overlooked for years and that is protecting the environment.In just twenty years major rivers around the capital have become so toxic that the presence of any life form is impossible. The Buriganga which is the main river flowing beside the capital Dhaka became a reservoir of thick black contaminated water and its bed has a 6 feet layer of polythene bags and human waste. The rivers of every major cities around the country soon followed suit. Initially there had been no provision of establishing of any Effluent Treatment Plant alongside any industrial project. This led the industries to discharge their industrial waste directly into rivers and canals etc. And now everybody is experiencing the consequence of their action. A few environmentalist groups are working on this issue but it seems no one is prepared to take responsibility. To attract foreign investors, the Bangladeshi government has established Export Processing Zones (EPZ) around the country without any ETP plant. Anyone can observe what the people of Bangladesh are paying so that the multinational companies can keep their profit margin intact.

However, all the discharged wastes come directly into rivers by following downfalls. The result is severe. Our rivers are becoming of no use at all. Species of fish are going extinct very rapidly. Angling is becoming almost impossible for hobbyists to carry on. The angling season is starting in 2 months. We wish all Bangladeshi anglers good luck!

To quote Albert Einstein: There are two things without any limits. One is the universe and the other is the human stupidity.