Hazaribagh residential district flooded by tannery waste

Bangladesh
Published:  09 January, 2015

Parts of Hazaribagh, a widely known area in the capital for tannery industry, has been flooded with toxic chemical water from the tanneries earlier this week due to poor drainage and sewerage systems in the area.

Streets and other areas are submerged in the polluted water, which overflowed from the drains, causing immense suffering to the residents of the area say reports in the local media.

Locals claimed that lack of monitoring by the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), who are responsible for managing the area’s sewerage and drainage systems, caused the flood.

After receiving complaints from the locals, Wasa officials visited the site in the evening of January 6, but did not immediately start the clean up, as a Wasa cleaner said they did not work at night.

Md Rafiqul Islam, a local cleaner, told the Dhaka Tribune that they started working in the morning of January 7, and the water had already started to recede.

Local reports say that the cause of flooding is a huge amount of solid tannery waste was dumped into the DSCC service drains and Wasa sewerage drains, which clogged them and caused the wastewater to overflow on to the roads.

Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, many locals claimed that such flooding had happened before, yet the authorities concerned had a lacklustre attitude about solving the problem. The locals also claimed that by not taking proper steps to resolve the problem, the authorities are setting up a death trap for pedestrians and passengers of small vehicles, ie rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles and human hauliers.

There are 270 registered tanneries in Bangladesh, and around 95% of those tanneries are located in Hazaribagh, many of them are using outdated and inefficient processing methods.

The government recently decided to move the industry from Hazaribagh to Savar, starting from the first quarter of this year. 

Source: Dhaka Tribune