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Managing Pollution from Small Scale Industries in Bangladesh.

Project Title:   Managing Pollution from Small Scale Industries in Bangladesh.
Type of Project Industrial pollution action research
Duration:   July 2002-July 2004
Status:   Completed
Partner Organizations:   Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) at York-UK, University of Leeds-UK, DFID-UK, and BCAS.
Key words: Small scale industries, textile and dyeing, poultries, recycling, pollution, mitigation
Main Objective:   1. To develop methods for determining the form of water pollution from small and medium scale industrial units. 2. To identify adjustments to production process to reduce future pollution and develop novel methods of treatment for residual pollutants. 3. to establish source pollution impact relationship
Brief Description: Processes (activities, project sites etc.): Discussions held with factory staff to understand the operation process within each industrial unit. The material balance focusing on inputs and processes used to determine outputs, including pollutants. Identified pollution reduction measures for example, recycling options for selected ‘waste’ streams and alternative raw materials. Options were discussed with the industrialists to devise pollution reduction and mitigation action plans. The research also worked with buyers and accreditation organisations to try and secure incentives such as eco-labeling for the industries that collaborate on the work. Methodological approach: Under the Knowledge and Research Programme (KAR) of DFID, the project used an approach that tackled both the causes of pollution through developing changes to the production process with industrialists and the effects of the pollution through industry and community based mitigation measures. The work involved consensus building and dispute resolution, community awareness and mobilisation, cleaner production auditing and community based pollution mitigation and monitoring. Participatory tools and analysis of literature were used to identify environmental and human impacts of pollution and to develop a source pollutant impact ‘web’. Potential indicators of the key components of pollution were identified. Regular sample analysis was carried out both at end of pipe effluent and at different stages of the dyeing process to check for BOD, COD, dissolved Oxygen, Sulphides and other parameters, which indicate the levels of pollution reduction. Alternative production processes were also investigated.
Output Results achieved/key findings/outputs: 20,000 people had become the direct beneficiaries of the project that live in Ratanpur Khal, Mokesh Beel and Turag River area. Raised awareness of the industries regarding water pollution caused through their activities. Convinced them to work with BCAS for implementation of cleaner production practices to reduce pollution levels. Cleaner Production practices include changing of operational parameters like temperature, pH etc., recycling options, reuse options which has contributed to reduction of pollution load and toxicity. Advised the industries to design Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) and monitored existing ETPs to ensure efficient operation. Disseminated research findings to stakeholders like BGMEA, BTMA and business chambers. Lessons learnt by the implementing organisation/s: If the situation is to be improved a holistic approach is required which aims to mitigate the present pollution problems but also strives to reduce future pollution levels. As pollution levels are reduced water quality will gradually improve, the associated aquatic ecosystems will be restored and related livelihoods will be enhanced.
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