Toxic Smog Engulfs Cities in Bangladesh, Southeast Asia

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons [Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2009]

    The Facts

    • On Wednesday, IQAir — a Swiss organization monitoring climate issues — announced that Dhaka, Bangladesh has become the world's most polluted city reaching 325 on its index, a threshold categorized as hazardous.

    • Large fossil-fuel-burning projects that began in the spring have led to deteriorating air quality conditions. Rafiq Mondal, a Dhaka rickshaw operator said, "We often suffer from asthma, fever, and allergies while operating...It is often very painful."

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Countries across the region are paralyzed by the deteriorating toxic and unhealthy air quality. There is a solution but to solve this crisis the nations must work together to understand the causes, develop regional policy, and develop innovative solutions. State-sanctioned responses and major regional collaboration will have to precariously balance the creation of healthy air for residents meeting the needs of the economy.

    Narrative B

    While the World Bank and other bodies stress robust, regional actions to address the smog issue in South and Southeast Asia, some targeted, cost-effective programming can go a long way. For example, the development of India's National Clean Air Program increased air quality standards reduced vehicle and industrial pollution, and explored alternative energy investments while also preserving economic development. Tackling smog doesn't have to be daunting or economically stifling for the nations affected.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that India become a World Bank high-income country by November 2049, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter