The Buriganga River runs through Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It was in 2007 virtually dead due to pollution primarily from numerous tanneries located in the Hazaribagh area of the city. The waste water from the tanneries ran directly into the river with almost no attempt to clean it. Thus 50,000 tons of waste water ran into the river every day from industries in the Hazaribagh area, mainly the tanneries.

Even so, poor people who did not have other options bathed and washed clothes in the river every day. The leather from the tanneries was primarily exported to Japan and the Western World, either as hides or as finished leather products such as shoes, belts, or jackets.