Bangladesh is among the least developed agrarian nations in the region, although since its creation in 1971 there has been some growth in its industrial sector. Air pollution and congestion has emerged as a leading concern, especially in major urban areas like Dhaka, with its large fleet of diesel-powerd vehicles. The problem is exacerbated by unplanned industrial expansion and poor transport infrastructure.
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Fisheries - Shrimp Cultivation
Shrimp cultivation began in Bangladesh in the mid-1970s when exports totaled 4.7 million dollars a year.
Until the global economic crisis, it was a 534-million-dollar-a-year business, with 42,000 tons of exports, mainly to the United States and Europe. After the garment industry, shrimp production ranks second in Bangladesh in terms of the sector’s ability to earn foreign exchange. Not only does this crop earn valuable foreign exchange, but the sector also employs significant numbers of rural workers and provides a livelihood for households throughout much of Bangladesh. A study by USAID estimates that as many as 1.2 million people may be directly involved in shrimp production with an additional 4.8 million household members supported by the industry.
Rain Water Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting is one of the feasible options of fresh water sources in the coastal areas of Bangladesh and recently a lot of initiatives and programme were undertaken to promote and install rainwater harvesting systems both in the coastal and arsenic affected areas in Bangladesh. Moreover, every year the country is also blessed with ample rain. The average annual rainfall in Bangladesh is about 2200 mm, seventy-five percent of it occurs between May and September.
Increasing urbanisation and water usage has resulted in a proliferation of waterborne sanitation in Bangladesh. The majority of infrastructure projects focus on the provision of sanitation, but management of residual wastes is generally not given sufficient consideration.
For instance, according to Joint Monitoring Programme by WHO and UNICEF in 2006, 51% of urban areas had improved sanitation facilities and only 7% urban areas had sewerage connection. In addition, only 32% of the rural population was using improved sanitation in 2006. As a result, many urban dwellers remain unserved with basic sanitation and the vast majority of wastewater and septage is discharged without any form of treatment into rivers and water bodies, seriously polluting water resources and causing a diversity of economic impacts.
In Bangladesh 60% of the population do not have access to the power grid. The country only produces 3500-4200 MW of electricity against a daily demand for 4000-5200 MW on average, according to official estimates. Solar energy is an ideal solution as it can provide gridless power and is totally clean in terms of pollution and health hazards. Since it saves money on constructing electricity transmission lines, it’s economical as well.
In the early 1970s, most people living in the countryside relied on surface water -- ponds, or rivers -- to meet their drinking water needs. As a result diseases due to bacteria-contaminated water, such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera were extremely widespread. To tackle this problem, and the related problem of drinking water, the government switched to a policy of tapping groundwater. The government began providing villages with tubewells and handpumps, with aid from such organisations as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank:UNICEF initiated the programme and paid for the first 900,000 tubewells along with its co-sponsor.
Until the 1960s, ship breaking was considered a highly mechanized operation, concentrated in industrialized countries, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. Over the years it has gravitated toward countries with low labor costs, weak regulations on occupational safety, and limited environmental enforcement. Currently, the global center of the ship breaking and recycling industry is located in South Asia, specifically Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. These three countries account for 70–80 percent of the international market for ship breaking of ocean-going vessels.
In Bangladesh, the food safety and quality control framework consists of Laws, Regulations & Standards, Administration & Inspection and Laboratory analytical services. Agriculture is the largest sector in Bangladesh economy. Its combine’s contribution (crops, forestry, fisheries, livestock etc.) to the country’s GDP and employment is more than one third and two third respectively. The food laws and regulations reflect this although major weaknesses within the legal framework still exist.
Women at work in Barisal, at one of 46 Grameen Shakti technology centres. More than 1,500 women have been trained as certified solar technicians and entrepreneurs.
Ship-breaking industry, once banned in Bangladesh for violating environment and safety norms, is back in business