Life on a ‘Death River’ in Bangladesh

Vaniceseasonal's Blog

THANKS;Monday, January 20, 2014 | By Sara Distin
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Springing from the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is a burgeoning megacity. Already one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the world, Dhaka is also among the fastest growing. The teeming metropolis — like so many ancient cities — initially flourished in large part because of its proximity to a great river; the Buriganga’s countless boats and launches provided easy access to other parts of India, making Dhaka a prime location for trade. The Buriganga was also, at one time, the city’s primary source of drinking water.

Today, the river is terribly toxic; the Bangladesh government estimates that about 21,000 cubic meters of untreated industrial sewage is released into its waters every day. According to Human Rights Watch, residents in neighboring slums regularly suffer from fevers, skin diseases, respiratory problems, and diarrhea. The dire contrast between what the…

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