PHOTOS OF BANGLADESH
Dhaka City is the red dot just above center, Chittagong along the coast on the right
A fishpond towards evening in the countryside southeast of Dhaka. I spent an evening here with the owner of this land and a group of young, idealistic, and educated young men who want to make a difference to the future of their country.
The pond as the sun sets in the West.
A local woman does laundry in the pond.
My friend Mujibur Rahman on the left and the young men who are hosting his outing in the countryside. One of them is owner of this pond.
I climb a tree to get a more scenic view of the area.
This woman, mother of six children, lives on the land by the fish pond (above) and works for the owner. On this tiny fireplace she cooked a fine dinner for all 17 of us. It took her about four hours of hard work, most of it squatting by the fire as seen here.
The fishermen from a poor fishing village near Chittagong wade out to their boat when it comes back with its catch. The catches, they told us, are very slim compared to 15 years ago when there were plenty of fish. They rapidly walk with the fish in bamboo baskets resting on their shoulders the several kilometers to their village in order to try to sell it while it is still fresh.
In the same place where the poor fishermen were unloading their meager catch, the landscape was surreal, like a scene from some alien landscape. Giant earth moving machines were tearing at the tidal flats, creating vast holes and mountains of discarded mud. A commercial shrimp farm was being constructed.
These shrimp farms create food for export (not the local population) and destroy the mangrove coastal barriers that help prevent typhoon and storm damage and flooding on the land. These farms are being created all along the coasts of south India and Bangladesh. As usual, short term profits far outweigh the welfare of the local populations or future generations.
My friends Sarwar Kamal and Mujibur Rahman (photo below), both social workers and educators for the common good of the people of Bangladesh, arranged for me to learn about the problems of Bangladesh as well as to give talks on behalf of the Earth Federation. Here is the welcome sign for my talk to a rural college group of faculty and local citizen leaders in south Bangladesh.
Mujibur Rahman (Director of World University, Dhaka branch) and Sarwar Kamal (Director of an environmental and development NGO in the Chittagong area) stand in the farm of the agricultural institute whose guest house I stayed in while visiting south Bangladesh.
This is a common sight in Bangladesh and India. Women, some men, and children using hammers to break up used bricks to be used as part of the cement in construction sites. My hosts told me that the people working here earn the equivalent of about one U.S. dollar per day.
All over the third world people through waste plastic bags and other plastic trash into the streets or drainage waterways, since these countries cannot afford to hide the immense wastes of our throw away civilization as is done in wealthy countries. As a result these drainage streams become clogged and blocked by great concentrations of toxic, plastic, and human sewage. These men are trying to unclog one such drainage stream in a village near Chittagong.
A typical mode of transport in Dhaka City
About six in the morning in downtown Dhaka city. These are some of the thousands of families that live on the streets packing up their entire earthly possessions into these plastic bags to begin again trying to earn a few Taka to survive another day.