Pollution leads to GDP loss: World Bank

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economy

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh must check environmental degradation, particularly in the urban areas and become climate resilient to achieve an upper-middle income status, the World Bank says in a study.

The preliminary findings of the report ‘Country Environment Assessment for Bangladesh’ discussed at a workshop say that the country is losing 1 percent GDP every year due to air pollution.

Noncompliant industries and inadequate waste management of hazardous and nonhazardous materials are polluting the cities’ air as well as surface and ground water.

For one tonne of fabric, the dyeing and finishing factories discharge 200 tonnes of wastewater to rivers leading to health hazards in the capital’s poorer neighbourhood.

The draft report focused on four areas: cost of environmental degradation, urban wetlands, cleaner technologies, and institutions. As the country is rapidly urbanising, the analysis suggests that it needs to manage the urbanisation and industrialisation process in an environmentally sustainable way.

To enforce environment policies, the government must strengthen the institutions and regulatory framework. It should provide incentives to industries to adopt green and clean technologies and should enforce polluter’s pay principle.

Due to unplanned development, unabated pollution is affecting both the big and small cities. For example, in Dhaka, around 600,000 residents are exposed to lead contamination, which can lead to IQ loss and neurological damage, especially among children.