Black Water

The Buriganga River runs through Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It is virtually dead due to pollution primarily from numerous tanneries located in the Hazaribagh area of the city.

The water of the river has turned black. There is a foul smell of chemicals and sewage, and few animals are seen in or around the river, except for countless crows scavenging the riverbanks. Even so, poor people who do not have other options bathe and wash clothes in the river every day. The waste water from the tanneries runs directly into the river with almost no attempt to clean it. Thus 50,000 tons of waste water run into the river every day from industries in the Hazaribagh area, mainly the tanneries.

The leather from the tanneries is primarily exported to Japan and the Western World, either as hides or as finished leather products such as shoes, belts, or jackets. As long as the importing countries do not emphasize the need to produce the leather under environmentally sound conditions, it is unlikely that the river will once again be clean.