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1 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 November, 2019 12:13:37 AM

Soil pollution, a consequence of environmental misdeeds

With so many human disturbances in nature, soil pollution is found to be an environmental crime in this industrial era
Polin Kumar Saha and Jannatul Ferdaous Sathi
Soil pollution, a consequence of environmental misdeeds

Soil is the basic element for ultimate nutrient sources of all the living organisms in the ecological system. Soil keeps our environment well balanced or harmony of living and non-living organism and their interaction in a particular space.It is the most valuable and vital resource for sustenance of life and also for any developmental activity. But gradually, the human greediness towards harvesting nature has been observed as an illegal or unauthorized act,which could be documentedas environmental crime leading to soil pollution. With so many human disturbances in nature, soil pollution is found such an abandonedenvironmental crime in this industrial era.

It is an alarming news for us that one third of global soil are already degraded. In recent year, how severely the industrial hazardous waste disposal is influencing the soil based pollution, that is a vital question for us. As we know during the industrial manufacturing processes, a large volume of solid waste and excluded chemical (like plastic materials, chemical product, sludge etc.) are dumped over on the surface. Per capita solid waste in Bangladesh is small but the total amount of growing solid wastes is quite significant.Secondary   sources   indicate   that   the   number   of   manufacturing   establishments   in   Bangladesh is approaching 30,000 factories, including all of these facilities use more than 40 different types of chemicals. Estimates for solid waste generated in Dhaka city vary from 3,000 to 3,500 tons per day. They come from mainly households, commercial and industrial establishments and street sweepings. Households generate most of the solid waste, accounting for nearly 45% of the total.It has recently been designated from different assessment that water logging of our major cities is found alarming due to mainly unsustainable manage of solid waste, which ultimately affects our soil body.

In anothermajor environmental crimebased soil pollution, farmersuse large amounts of inorganic fertilizer and chemical pesticide to produce volume of food (not quality!), which process of agricultural practices reduces soil fertility anddamages soil composition.Then, brick kilns arealso the fastest growing industries in the last few years of our country. Most of the main ingredient of brick field usefertile topsoil of agricultural land, while an estimation is likely to 3-kilogram soil is used for one brick. For this why large amounts of agricultural lands is decreasing day by day and which consequences definitely lead food insecurity and vulnerable livelihood in the coming decades, apart from arable land degradation and environmental deterioration of the country.

However, it’s time to achieve SDGs (sustainable development goals) where we must adapt various policies in our development paths, so that all of our development processes could really be framed towards sustainability principles. For example, the National Agriculture Policy (1999) must implement in integrated ways to ensure sustainable agricultural production, conservation of crop biodiversity, introduction of new technology, increased use of organic manure, integrated pest management system, efficient irrigation system, diversification of crop and establishment of agro-processing and agro-based industries. As the outcome of good agriculture policy implementation in China, their major goals to increase the proportion of contaminated farmland that can be used safely is expected to be 90% around by 2020.

The government of Bangladesh has modified several environmental acts, rules and laws to lessen the environmental crimes. Environment court has already been established to take prompt legal action against soil pollution. On top of that, soil damage can be mitigated by the promotion of renewable resources such as solar and biomass. The expansion of renewable sources in the country is not still at the accepted level of global demand than the expectation. According to these goals, 20% of Germany ‘s electricity and 10% of Germany ‘s primary energy demands should be covered with renewables by 2020. According to a study of the German Ökoinstitut, about 10% of the German electricity, heating, and fuel for cars could be produced from biomass alone by 2020.

Towards destination, we need also more cooperation in more public private partnership, and we definitelysee some positive initiatives as well. For example, Waste Concern, a local NGO and Department of Environment, have already demonstrated the success of involving community in waste recycling. This community approach has been performed successfully on waste collection. But a problem arises with the insufficient capacity of the city corporation to collect this accumulated waste from community collection centers and further dumping in the landfills.The institutional arrangements are envisaged including a high level committee onHazardous waste (HW) formed to coordinate the implementation of the policy and to provide technical guidance for a Hazardous Waste Management Cell(HWMC) to be established in the Department of Environment, as afocal point for HWM and promotion of cleaner production practices.

Finally, people of Bangladesh saw around 234,000 deaths, including 80,000 in urban areas, due to environmental pollution and related health risks in 2015, making it one of the worst affected countries in the world. Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country on this issue that reveals the World Bank report. Overcoming environmental crimes in soil can be a corollary goal as if implementing the proper waste management policies.

In any ways, any type of anthropogenic activities need to be sorted out from different sources as environmental crimes leading to soil pollution, while this growing and devastating threat cannot thwart anymore our entire ecosystem towards biodiversity loss, environmental quality deterioration and natural resources distortion, all of which result in consequence of climate change.

The writers are environmental professionals at Iso Tech Group

[email protected]; [email protected]




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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