Transboundary air pollution is one of the main reasons for air pollution in Bangladesh, according to a Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) study.
Bangladesh needs to set up air quality monitoring stations at its borders to determine the source and severity of pollution, the study team revealed at a workshop yesterday.
The "Technical Workshop on Data Collection Survey on Air Pollution in the People's Republic of Bangladesh," was held at the Department of Environment in Agargaon of the capital.
The Jica study has identified five major reasons for the deterioration of air quality in the country, especially during the dry season.
"Air pollutants from stationary sources like brick kilns, dust from construction sites, and haze from open burning of waste at dumping sites, as well as automobile exhaust gas and transboundary air pollutants, are the major reasons for air quality deterioration in Bangladesh," said Shinji Tanaka, a specialist in the study team.
The team of specialists stressed the need for air quality monitoring stations beside roads to survey vehicle emission levels.
The study found that particulate matters (PM 2.5) enter the country from three directions from India: west, north-west, and north.
"The most pollutants come from the west," Komei Yamaguchi, team leader of the Jica team, told The Business Standard after the end of the presentation. "Bangladesh needs to set up air quality monitoring equipment to determine the severity and source of the pollution," he added.
Responding to a question, Chief Representative of Jica Bangladesh, Yuho Hayakawa, said, "There is no immediate solution to transboundary pollution. Japan has similar issues with China, but it is important to have evidence in hand to be able to negotiate with the polluting country."
Mentioning Japan's expertise in emission and pollution control, Jica researchers called on Bangladesh's ministry of environment, forest and climate change, to explore possible areas of collaboration to mitigate air pollution in Bangladesh.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Md Mostafa Kamal, and Director General of the Department of Environment, Md Ashraf Uddin, among others, also spoke at the event.