Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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in Bangladesh, rivers are disappearing



Video length: 4 min.

France 2

Article written by

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N.Bertrand, M.Fortunato, M.Garnier, R.Pateriya

France 2

France Televisions

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In northern Bangladesh, a river empties over the years. People who lived from fishing have seen their lives change, and work for the sand industry. The wet banks are also used for agriculture, to the dismay of the protectors of the river.

Until a few years ago, there was much more water in the rivers of northern Bangladesh. Today they are shrinking, withering away, and this has consequences for local residents. Abdul, 55, has been sailing here since he was a child. “The river is our life, poor people like me, we need it to survive”, Explains this former fisherman, who had to change jobs. The only hiring job in the region is the sand industry: it now loads the sand from the river into trucks, with a shovel. A job that remains much more physically difficult than fishing.

It is precisely this excessive extraction that accelerates the disappearance of water. But demand is growing, in one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The sand is used for the development of the country, to make roads, bridges, buildings. Sanjit Narayan Chowdhury is a biologist who has made the protection of the river his fight. It also fights against another phenomenon: the appropriation of rivers by farmers, who grow their crops there in the dry season. Bangladesh nevertheless needs more and more agricultural land. “Now we know saving rivers is key. If we save the rivers, we save our country”, Preaches the activist scientist.

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