Hundreds of people took oath to prevent lead pollution
in a community awareness event in Khulna district
“Together, we can solve lead pollution” with this slogan hundreds of community people, government and NGO officials, police, religious leaders, and media reporters took an oath at a community event. The ‘Community and Stakeholder Engagement’ event was held on 5 April, jointly organized by the international NGO, Pure Earth, and the Environmental Science discipline of Khulna University. It was held at Mohammadnagar, situated in Jalma Union, Batiaghata Upazila of Khulna District. This lead pollution awareness raising event was organized with the support of the Department of Environment, Khulna, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), and Jalma Union Parishad.
Pure Earth’s Toxic Site Identification Program (TSIP) has identified and assessed 300+ toxic sites, World Bank estimates 1100+ ULAB toxic sites in Bangladesh. One such lead-contaminated site has been identified in Khulna’s Mohammadnagar area where there used to be an open-air, unsafe, illegal lead-acid battery dismantling factory. Pure Earth and Khulna University have collaborated to start a clean-up program in April 2023 in that lead-contaminated area to reduce exposure. This intervention is a part of the Protecting Every Child’s Potential (PECP) project. The community event aimed to raise awareness about lead pollution and inform the community and local administration about the upcoming lead clean-up activities and seek support and collaboration from them during the intervention.
The special guests of the event were Dr. Mahfuzar Rahman, Country Director, Pure Earth; Md Iqbal Hossain, Director, Department of Environment, Khulna; Dr. Md. Monzurul Murshid, Director, Khulna District Health Office, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS); Sujat Ahmed, Civil Surgeon, Khulna; Md. Anamul Haque, Officer In-charge, Labanchora Thana; Professor Dr. Md. Atiqul Islam, Environmental Science discipline, Khulna University; religious leader Mawlana Nazmul Hasan, Imam, Baitul Miraz Jame Masjid; and many more. The Chair of the event was Dr. Abdullah Harun Chowdhury, Professor and Head of the Discipline, Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University.
Proactive Participation of the Community People, Local leaders, and Youth Groups
The event was highly engaging with the proactive participation of the community people, local leaders, religious leaders, police, and youth groups. They participated in question-answer and opinion-sharing rounds where they shared their learning from the event, and also asked questions and sought support from the government agencies and administration to prevent lead pollution in their community and Khulna district as well.
A video titled ‘Public Questions, Expert Answers: Lead Pollution in Bangladesh‘ was screened during the event that features questions related to lead pollution from the general people and responses from different experts on the impact and solutions to lead pollution.
All the participants received a leaflet on lead pollution and also a dangler as a take-home.
The one and half hour event concluded with taking an oath to unite to prevent lead pollution, and a photo session
with a placard that reads “Together, we can solve lead pollution”.
- Leaflet: Impact, sources, and solutions to lead pollution
- Dangler: Lead-Free Family
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