June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.989.1 - 10.989.8
Partnership with Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology in Pollution Prevention Curriculum Development and Research Keith A. Schimmel, Shamsuddin Ilias, Franklin G. King/ A.K.M. Abdul Quader North Carolina A&T State University/ Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology
I. Introduction As a nation with a population of over 130 million on a landmass of 55,813 square miles (about the size of Wisconsin), Bangladesh is known to the West for natural calamity, famine, and poverty. In recent years, Bangladesh has made major strides to produce sufficient food domestically to meet its rapidly increasing population and has made significant gains in export earnings through the ready-made garments industry. However, these gains are being overshadowed by environmental disasters.
The nation is facing arsenic contamination of its water supply. Excessive withdrawal of groundwater for irrigation and massive diversion of natural water flows of the major rivers by building dams has aggravated this problem. In fact, one of the biggest mass-poisoning cases the world has ever known has taken place in Bangladesh. According to UNICEF, the “Bangladesh arsenic problem represents a collective failure on the part of the International Agencies, the Government and other donor agencies which could have acted faster than what we did in getting a fuller picture and extent of the problem.” 1 This is a problem that needs scientific and engineering solutions using “good” science. 2
Excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has adversely affected the surface water. According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the environmental ecology of the country is changing rapidly. Alarmingly, a large number of fish, amphibians and reptiles, mammals, and birds are now on the endangered and threatened species list. 3
The fertilizer and textile industries are considered major contributors to surface water pollution. Bangladesh has a number of urea, ammonium sulphate, and phosphate (TSP) fertilizer plants of multi-million ton annual capacity along the banks of major rivers. Unregulated discharge of waste effluent in the rivers is frequently witnessed by fish kills. In the textile sector, production of ready-made garments for export to the U.S., Canadian and European markets has grown rapidly and now dominates Bangladeshi exports. Bangladesh is the fifth-largest supplier of cotton apparel to the United States and is also a major trading partner in the West European market. This unprecedented growth has been a blessing for the economy, but the damage to the environment has yet to be assessed. Textile weaving and dying industries are producing enormous volumes of waste effluents containing dyes, alkali, and bleaching agents, usually as mixed-waste and discharged to open waters.
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Quader, A. A., & Ilias, S., & King, F., & Schimmel, K. (2005, June), Partnership With Bangladesh University Of Engineering & Technology In Pollution Prevention Curriculum Development And Research Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14772
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