Bangladesh: Health and Pollution Action Plan
Bangladesh Department of Environment
The Health and Pollution Action Plan (HPAP) is a pollution analysis and prioritization process designed to assist governments of low- and middle-income countries to develop and implement solutions to priority pollution challenges. The goal of each HPAP is to establish pollution as a priority for action within national agencies and development plans, and to define and advance interventions to reduce pollution exposures and related illnesses
Pure Earth has initiated a Health and Pollution Plan (HPAP) with the Bangladesh Government. Bangladesh has begun to address broad pollution and health issues, particularly around air pollution and access to safe water. Pure Earth and the Bangladesh Department of Environment agreed that the HPAP there should focus on currently neglected issues, particularly chemicals.
Earlier activities in preparation for the HPAP increased attention to the informal recycling of used lead-acid batteries in the country, which is a large and growing challenge and a significant contributor to Bangladesh’s environmental burden of disease. Consequently, the Bangladesh Department of Environment established in 2018 a National Lead-Acid Battery Committee to address this challenge, and lead-acid battery recycling was highlighted as a priority issue in the World Bank’s Country Environmental Analysis.
A chemicals-focused HPAP is being finalized with the Government, specifically as a basis for discussion with the World Bank administered “Pollution Management and Environment Health (PMEH)” Trust Fund. The HPAP will potentially influence both the PMEH program in Bangladesh and how the WB and other development partners design future technical and financial assistance programs related to pollution.
The HPAP in Bangladesh has led to the development of the Chemicals and Health Analysis and Prioritization Program (CHAPP), which is an analysis and reporting program that analyzes all currently available information about sources of chemical pollution in Bangladesh, the most prevalent contaminants, contamination levels, and associated risks to public health. The CHAPP will be a collaborative effort between Pure Earth; USAID; the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; the Department of Environment; the University of Dhaka Department of Geology; The National Institute for Preventative and Social Medicine; and the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research Bangladesh. The purpose of the CHAPP is to help relevant authorities understand and prioritize public health risks from chemical contamination of soil and water, to design programs and projects to address the highest priority challenges, and to help the government and others secure national and international resources to address priority challenges.