According to a recent UN study on South Asia’s river basins titled ‘Fresh Water Under Threat’, the river basins in South Asia in general, and the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna river basins in particular, are highly vulnerable to pollutions and thus deserve joint management to stop further damage to these rivers.
Bangladesh is naturally vulnerable due to the quantity and the poor quality of water that flows through from the upstream. ‘All major rivers flowing through Bangladesh originate outside its border. Thus any interventions in the upper riparian regions can have significant impacts on Bangladesh,’ the report said.
Therefore, South Asian countries need to set up a joint mechanism to manage trans-boundary watersheds especially the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna river basins which are highly vulnerable with millions of people at risk of increasing water scarcity. Bangladesh-born climate change scholar Saleemul Huq discusses these vulnerabilities and the future course of action in the attached interview.