Ahead of the upcoming 12th National Parliamentary Election, the ruling Awami League has announced its election manifesto, committing to extend modern urban amenities to every village. The manifesto, with the slogan “Smart Bangladesh: Visible Development, Increased Employment,” was announced by Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 27, 2023) at the Pan Pacific Hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka. The manifesto promises to enhance the quality of life in villages by providing improved roadways, communication, clean drinking water, modern healthcare and medical treatment, quality education, advanced sanitation and waste management, increased electricity and fuel supply, computer and high-speed internet facilities, and expanded markets. These initiatives aim to bring all the comforts of modern cities to every village. In Smart Bangladesh Awami League seeks more safeguards for minorities, end of intolerance To ensure a reliable fuel supply, the party plans to continue encouraging and supporting the installation of biogas plants and solar panels on a group basis. The establishment of agricultural machinery service centers and workshops in villages will expand rural mechanization services, including machinery repair. This initiative will also provide training for rural youth and agricultural entrepreneurs, promoting productive employment. The manifesto includes plans for private sector investment and loan support for small and marginal entrepreneurs manufacturing and marketing light machinery. In line with the economic development of villages, cultural, sports, and entertainment programs will be expanded. This approach is expected to reduce the urban migration trend among rural youth by creating self-employment opportunities within villages. The government will fully support young people's involvement in agriculture, industry, and business. AL Manifesto on Significant Steps to Foster Women Entrepreneurs Awami League says that during its previous tenure, roads in every upazila were improved and expanded, connecting each village to upazila headquarters and linking upazilas to district headquarters and national highways. Every village has been ensured electricity supply. Drinking water and sanitation facilities have been enhanced and will be further improved. The government has taken over the expenses of primary and secondary schools, and financial support is being provided for teachers' salaries in private schools. Hospitals with 50 beds in upazilas are being upgraded to 100-bed facilities. Community clinics are bringing healthcare services to the doorstep of rural residents. Every union now has computer and internet service centers, providing employment opportunities to rural youth and facilitating communication nationally and internationally. Awami League’s Manifesto: Mega Projects for Accelerating Economic Momentum The expansion of communication, electricity, and internet services has accelerated rural production and market systems. Agricultural inputs have become more accessible, and the market for agricultural products has expanded. The extension of agricultural technology and the development of cottage and small industries are being expedited. Activities in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors have multiplied significantly in rural areas.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh today (November 28, 2023) signed a $90 million loan agreement to develop infrastructure and systems that will provide clean drinking water and sanitation services in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati towns in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region. Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Edimon Ginting, Country Director, ADB, signed the loan agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively, at a ceremony at ERD in Dhaka. “We are pleased to support the government in pursuing inclusive and climate-resilient development by providing clean drinking water and sanitation services and improving solid waste management in the lagging Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region,” said ADB Country Director Ginting. Read more: Latest ADB report predicts a better year for Bangladesh in FY2024 “The improved services will reduce the risks of water-borne diseases, enhance health and economic opportunities, and benefit women who spend considerable productive time daily collecting water and managing wastes,” he said. The Chattogram Hill Tracts Inclusive and Resilient Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project will develop water treatment plants with a total capacity of 44 million liters per day in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati towns, as well as 24 km of transmission line and 340 km of new water distribution network to connect to households. In Bandarban and Lama, the project will also modernize sanitation and solid waste management systems through rehabilitated public toilets and the provision of vehicles to safely de-sludge fecal sludge and collect solid waste integrated with a geographic information system, and equip household waste bins with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track waste collection. The project will also develop two integrated waste management facilities to treat and manage fecal sludge and solid waste, said the regional development bank. To maximize impact and sustainability, a community awareness and behavior change campaign on water, sanitation, hygiene, climate resilience, and solid waste management will be conducted. The campaign will target 100,000 people, with at least 60 percent participation from women and the vulnerable population. Around 300 staff (at least 90 percent of the eligible women staff) of the Department of Public Health Engineering, hill district councils, and municipalities will be trained on climate-resilient, inclusive, and sustainable water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management service delivery. The project will also enhance the readiness for implementation of future investments in water supply and sanitation for 31 towns by preparing feasibility studies, detailed designs, and bidding documents following approaches that promote disaster and climate resilience as well as gender equity and social inclusion. Read more: In another first, PM Hasina opens Ctg-Cox's Bazar railway line
Most house owners in Dhaka have connected their sewage discharge pipes to the surface drains of the City Corporation instead of sewage management networks. This results in severe pollution to the lakes in and around the capital. Campaigns will be conducted in every ward in Dhaka North City Corporation to block those illegal sewage lines, the city corporation mayor Atiqul Islam told UNB. Sewage networks should not be connected to the city corporation's surface drains in any way. The house owners should immediately disconnect those illegal lines. If not, it will be permanently disconnected by the city corporation authorities, the Mayor alerted the house owners. Also Read: Sewerage: Dhaka, Tokyo launch partnership for improved services “Campaign will continue in every ward of the city corporation in phases and no compromise will be made in this regard,” Atiq said. To make the campaign successful, Mayor Atiqul put emphasis on creating awareness among the house owners. Besides, ward councilors and city corporation officials will perform their respective duties to resolve the problem, added the Mayor. “We repeatedly asked the house owners not to connect their sewage lines to the surface drains but they did not pay any importance. We have even given public notification to be aware in this regard but we did not get any positive response from them. So we have been compelled to conduct a drive,” he said. “Strict action will be taken against those who are involved in these illegal activities." “We had a meeting with the representatives of Baridhara and Gulshan Society over the issue but no one is paying attention even after saying it again and again”, he said. Read More: WASA key reason behind pollution of Dhaka’s rivers, NRCC chairman says Mayor Atiqul Islam said, "Illegal sewage connections in elite areas is a matter of great regret. The wastes of these houses are supposed to flow through separate WASA lines. Where there are no water lines, ETP plants should be installed by the house owners to manage the wastes." He said, “We have conducted a ground survey in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan areas of the city and the findings are appalling. According to the survey, about 85 percent of the houses have sewage lines in surface drains. It is verily alarming in such VIP areas. It is polluting the canal and lake water. To save the city, the authorities were forced to plug these connections.” At least 3,830 houses were surveyed in these four areas. Of these houses, 3,265 houses discharged sewage directly into surface drains and lakes. Only 41 houses have proper sewerage connection and 524 houses have partial sewage management. As a result, the natural beauty of the lake is being destroyed and mosquito infestation is increasing. Out of 550 houses in Baridhara, which is known as the most elite area of the country, 342 houses have connected their sewage lines to surface drains. The survey report found, only 5 houses in Baridhara have not been connected to surface drains out of eight level criteria laid down while 203 houses met few of the conditions. On the other hand, 342 houses did not fulfill a single condition, whose house sewage line is connected to the surface drain. Read More: Sylhet to get its own WASA: LGRD Minister As part of the drive, the city corporation placed banana trees in the drains to stop the flow of waste coming from the sewerage lines of four houses in the Baridhara-11 area. According to the DNCC, the Sanitation Compliance Committee comprising the chief waste management officer of DNCC in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan areas, former professor of BUET Md Mujibur Rahman, representatives of Dhaka Wasa, International Training Network Centre (ITN-BUET), housing society and UNICEF supervised the survey work. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) started an operation this month to stop the connection of sewage to surface drains, canals or lakes. As part of the campaign, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam took part in the campaign and stopped the sewage connection of two houses from the surface drain on Road No. 104 and 112 of Gulshan-2. Additionally, the lake's high water contamination makes it impossible to cultivate the fish. Therefore, natural repellents to kill mosquitoes are not possible due to the inability to farm fish, Mayor Atiq said. Read More: Monster made of plastic waste at Cox’s Bazar to spread awareness "As we do not have any scheduled campaign at this moment, we are creating awareness among the house owners, especially the owners of newly constructed buildings over the issue", Md Mizanur Rahman, CEO of Dhaka South City Corporation, told UNB. "Besides, we are giving time to disconnect all the old houses which are already connected to the sewerage line of the City Corporation and transfer them to WASA drainage," he added.
It is 3pm. In-store computers at a convenience store chain in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward decide which food items should be discounted and by how much. Assorted sandwiches, one, 20 yen ($0.13) off, and crispy ham and lettuce sandwiches, three, 30 yen off, a display says. Then a manager prints out price tags and goes about attaching them to items. Eight assorted sandwiches line the shelf, but only one, approaching its expiration date, is discounted. More Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets are now using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse data such as past sales figures to decide what discounts to apply to perishable products to boost sales and cut food waste, reports Kyodo News Plus. Lawson Inc, one of Japan's largest convenience store chains, introduced a system in 2015 where AI at its head office advises store managers and experienced staff on product management at all stores. To calculate how far to lower prices, the software considers a store's sales, delivery times and the local weather conditions to propose a price that gives the product the best chance at being sold.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said on Sunday the corporation staff will start removing wastes of sacrificial animals from city streets from 2:00pm. Taposh was speaking to journalists after attending the main Eid prayer at the National Eidgah premises in Dhaka. “I’m requesting everyone to maintain hygiene and proper processes during sacrificing animals on this Eid. We, both the mayors of Dhaka city, will begin our job of cleaning the city from 2:00pm onwards,” said Taposh. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam asked the people of Dhaka city to help in managing the wastes. “Please, put your wastes at a designated place. Our cleaners will collect it from there. I hope it won’t take much to remove the wastes if we can get everyone’s help,” said Atiqul. Read: Complete qurbani by second day so cleaners too can enjoy Eid: Taposh
FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin on Tuesday night urged the Canadian companies to invest in waste management and waste-to-power generation in Bangladesh as the country has a number of reputed companies in this field. He made the request while speaking at a virtual meeting of Canada- Bangladesh joint working group on strengthening commercial relations. Also read: Self-reliance in seed production essential for food security: FBCCI FBCCI president is the Bangladeshi side co-chair of the joint working committee, according to a press release. Nuzhat Tam Zaman, the Canadian side Co-chair of the Canada- Bangladesh joint working group on strengthening commercial relations, said that Bangladesh has the opportunity to capture the Canadian Outsourcing market. She said that most of the Canadian companies are used to hiring freelancers from India, Russia and Ukraine for web development, social media management, digital content production and other ITES. But the Russia-Ukraine war opens the window for Bangladeshi freelancers to enter into the Canadian market, she added. FBCCI president said that more than 6 lakh skilled Bangladeshi freelancers are working in the global outsourcing market. FBCCI director and member of the committee Syed Alma Kabir called upon Canadian investors to set up factories and produce solar panels in Bangladesh. During the meeting both sides put emphasis on trade missions for boosting bilateral trade and commerce. Thomas Timmins from Canada delivered a presentation on renewable energy while Dr. EH Arefin Ahmed from Bangladesh made his presentation on the pharmaceutical industry of Bangladesh. Also read: FBCCI to boost business with Mexico Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Shamim Ahmed, Former President of Bangladesh Jute Goods Association Shahidul Islam Helal, Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Masud Rahman, Saskatchen Trade and Export Partnership President C Dekker, Additional Commerce Secretary Md. Abdur Rahim Khan, Trade Commissioner of Canadian High Commission, Dhaka Qazi Golam Farhad and FBCCI Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque were present among others.
Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam on Sunday said the government is working to bring the waste generated in the city as well as rural areas under proper management. Work is underway to bring the waste under proper management as waste is a challenge for all countries, he said at a meeting on 'Solid Waste Management Information Sharing' organized at Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) in the capital. The amount of waste generated in the country has multiplied in the past as the purchase capacity of people increased, he said. Also read:Bangladesh, India share best practices in waste management Tajul Islam said that a lot of garbage, medical waste, is generated in the village now which contains many harmful substances harmful to human health. In this regard, he said, “We are also working following the formula that the developed world is generating electricity through incineration by collecting waste.” In the meantime, with the approval of the Prime Minister, arrangements have been made to start power generation from waste in Two City Corporation of Dhaka, Gazipur, Chattogram and Narayanganj City Corporation, he added. The minister also said all city corporations and districts, upazilas and municipalities will also get electricity generated from waste in phases. He urged everyone to refrain from dumping garbage in rivers, canals, lakes and other water bodies. He further said about three thousand tonnes of garbage is being generated daily in Dhaka North and South City Corporation, two thousand five hundred tonnes in Chattogram, two thousand tonnes in Gazipur and a lot of waste is being generated in Narayanganj. Also read: Italy to invest in waste management in Bangladesh: Ambassador Enrico There is a lot of stench in the secondary transfer station-STS causing a lot of problems for pedestrians and people living in the area. He directed the authorities concerned to review the technical alternatives so that the stench does not spread. LGRD Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, Japanese Ambassador to Dhaka Naoki, Country Representatives from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and senior officials were present at the meeting.
Indore Municipal Corporation in India and Dhaka North City Corporation have held productive discussions on how to take forward cooperation in the field of solid waste management and other municipal services. They have shared the best practices in solid waste management noting that there is much scope for mutual learning. A virtual dialogue was organised between the two sides to that end on Tuesday. Read:Korea intend to intensify engagement with Chattogram The webinar was facilitated by the High Commission of India and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs of India.
Italy is keen to invest in solid waste management and development of green technology in leather sector in Bangladesh. Italian ambassador to Dhaka Enrico Nunziata on Sunday expressed this intention during a courtesy call on BSCIC Chairman Mustaque Hassan at his office in Tejgaon. The ambassador wanted gurantee of uninterrupted supply to the waste management plant from which electricity and organic fertilizer would be produced. Italian company is assessing waste quantity and possibility of setting up a full-fledged waste management plant in Savar leather industrial hub. Read: Invest in technology to improve waste management: UN chief The chairman of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) urged Italian investment in different economic zones in the country. The government is working to establish ecofriendly 100 economic zones on 40000 acres of land by 2041. Additional secretary (BSCIC) Kazi Shakhawat Hosain, senior BSCIC officials were present,
An explosion at an industrial park for chemical companies in Germany killed at least two people on Tuesday, with 31 others injured and several still missing hours later. Fire officials who tested the air said there did not appear to be a danger to nearby residents after authorities initially urged people to shelter inside. The explosion at the waste management facility of the Chempark site in Leverkusen, near Cologne, sent a large black cloud into the air. It took firefighters almost four hours to extinguish the fire that took hold after the explosion. Read:Residents say flood-hit German towns got little warning Germany’s Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance initially classified the incident as “an extreme threat.” Later on Tuesday, however, the Cologne fire department tweeted that pollution measurements “do not show any kind of abnormality.” They said the smoke had diminished but that they would continue to measure the air for toxins. The city of Leverkusen said the explosion occurred in storage tanks for solvents. Later Tuesday, Chempark operator Currenta said that a second fatality had been confirmed. It put the number of injured at 31 and said five employees were missing. “Unfortunately hope of finding them alive is fading rapidly,” the head of Chempark, Lars Friedrich, said in a statement. City officials asked all residents to stay inside until the late afternoon and warned people from outside Leverkusen to avoid the region. City officials later also warned people not to let children play outside, use outside pools or eat fruit and vegetables from their backyards in the coming days. They said experts would only be able to tell in a few days how toxic the soot from the explosion would be. Read:Germany defends preparation for floods, considers lessons Currenta said the explosion happened at 9:40 a.m. and then developed into a fire. It said three big tanks were affected by the explosion, but that it was too early to know the cause. “Sirens were operated to warn residents and warning alerts were sent,” Currenta said. Police shut down several nearby major highways for several hours. Leverkusen is home to Bayer, one of Germany’s biggest chemical companies. It has about 163,000 residents and borders Cologne, which is Germany’s fourth biggest city and has around 1 million inhabitants. Many residents work at Bayer, which is one of the biggest employers in the region. The chemical park is located close to the banks of the Rhine river. Read: 19 dead, dozens missing in Germany floods; 2 die in Belgium Currenta has three facilities in the region. More than 70 different companies are based at the locations in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. The mayor of Leverkusen, Uwe Richrath, called the blast “a tragic moment for Leverkusen.”