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Urbanization as Environmental Issues of Sustainable development of Bangladesh

Urban areas particularly the big cities including Dhaka have serious pollution problems with respect to solid waste management, growth of slum areas without supply of clean water, and sanitation facilities, with congested living conditions, inadequate drainage system, and untreated industrial waste disposal. Most of these factors affect the urban poor in terms of general hardship, ill-health and even death. As usual it is the women and the children who are the worst victims. Such appalling conditions also adversely affect labour productivity due to disease and morbidity and thus increases vulnerability of the poor.
Reduction of environmental problems related to urbanization must address improvement in the existing solid waste disposal system in all towns and cities, living conditions of the slums, and drainage congestions. The regulatory framework must be strengthened and implemented strictly with provisions for proper and adequate incentives to entrepreneurs to ensure that all industrial wastes are properly treated before disposal. With respect to waste disposal public/private collaboration is essential, system must be efficient and the Government needs to introduce sanitary landfill for all solid waste disposals and/or arrange for using the waste to produce energy. The disposal of hazardous and medical wastes in urban areas is a major cause of concern for urban life including that of the poor who are engaged in scavenging activities.

Another serious problem in the urban areas is improperly planned land development, whereby low lying lands, canals, and ponds are filled up for constructing residential and commercial buildings. This is causing reduction in the floodwater retention areas, water logging and drainage problems. Construction of roads without appropriate environmental mitigation measures is also adding to these problems. Flood protection activities around urban areas without appropriate environmental mitigation measures are also responsible for water logging.