Choking on air


Not enough is being done to combat air pollution, and this needs to change

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of a city is indicative of more than the quality of a city’s air. 

This is especially the case for our capital, which has consistently boasted high AQI scores, indicating a hazardous environment, with yesterday’s AQI ranking Dhaka the second-worst in the world. 

The fact that our air quality continues to plummet and there is little hint of definitive action either from the authorities (whose job it is to regulate emissions) and the general public (who must make the effort to adhere to regulations) goes to show that our nation has failed to take the issue seriously. 

This is despite the fact that this happens every year, around the same time, and continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people in the process, affecting the city’s health severely. 

As of now, not enough is being done to combat air pollution, and this needs to change. 

On the one hand, we continue to industrialize in the name of progress and development without ensuring that it is done so sustainably and without adverse effects on the environment.

On the other, initiatives to clean up our already poor environment, such as an increased focus on renewable resources and better public transportation services, have not been implemented with the vigour required.

This is especially disappointing considering the fact that Bangladesh remains one of the countries most vulnerable to the detrimental effects of climate change, and has led the charge in the fight against it. 

We must clean up our act. Otherwise, we will all soon be choking to our deaths.