Air pollution: The silent killer

Devise strategic measures to improve capital’s air quality

Published : 05 Dec 2022 07:20 PM

Air pollution is killing around 80,000 people every year in Bangladesh, said a World Bank report on Sunday. The report titled "Breathing Heavy: New Evidence on Air Pollution and Health in Bangladesh" states that exposure to high levels of air pollution significantly raises the risks of breathing difficulties, cough, lower respiratory tract infections, as well as depression and other health conditions. Children under five years, the elderly, and people with comorbidities such as diabetes, and heart or respiratory conditions, are most vulnerable. Reportedly, air pollution was the second largest risk factor leading to deaths and disability in Bangladesh in 2019.

Pollution and environmental challenges have occupied life and livelihood of the Dhakaities to a greater extent. Over the last years, air pollution has turned into a major public health concern in Dhaka and it has repeatedly been labelled as one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world and because of construction work going on the year round there is no sign of the situation improving any time soon.

Our city authorities hitherto 

have not taken any consistent 

and prudent action to address

 air pollution in the capital

Our city authorities hitherto have not taken any consistent and prudent action to address air pollution in the capital. Policymakers should understand and underscore the need for formulating new policies to curb air pollution. 

Air pollution should be a key issue that authorities concerned must address in the sphere of sustainable construction. 

It is time to implement necessary laws to compel the builders and constructors to build roads and buildings following rules and regulations. The government, policy makers, civil society, the private sector and even individuals must play their role to control unusual growth of dust as well as other air pollutants.

Improvements in energy efficiency, increased use of less or non-polluting renewable sources of energy are examples of measures that will benefit both air quality and the climate.  

We hope the city planners will frame appropriate strategies, ensure good governance and strictly enforce laws to reduce the extreme pollution in Dhaka.