‘Rivers are the lifeline of the world” with this theme, the 26th anniversary of the International Day of Action for Rivers will be celebrated on March 14, 2023. Since 1998, this global event has been taking place annually to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater ecosystems, to promote sustainable practices, to promote them, and to for the rights of local communities who depend on these rivers for their livelihoods.
✨Human Civilization is believed to have started along river banks as they provide early humans with a reliable source of freshwater, food, transport and fertile land for agriculture.
Rivers are vital natural resources that provide numerous benefits to humans and the environment. However, the current situation for many rivers around the world is concerning. They are facing a variety of threats, including pollution, habitat destruction, over-extraction, and climate change. The combination of these threats is putting many rivers in a precarious position, and their ability to provide essential ecosystem service is at risk. Therefore, it is important to take actions to protect and restore rivers, such as reducing pollution, conserving water resources, restoring riparian habitats, and promoting sustainable development practices. Thus comes the idea to celebrate a day to raise voices for the rivers, hence the International Day of Action for Rivers.
According to International Rivers, the organization that initiated this day, “The International Day of Action for Rivers is a time for communities around the world to come together and raise their voices in defense of their rivers and the rights of the communities depend on them.
✨Bangladesh is strongly reliant on its rivers for many facets of daily life, including transportation, agriculture, and fishing. But the condition of rivers here are very concerning.
According to a World Bank assessment, the Buriganga River, which passes through Dhaka, is 97% contaminated with home and industrial garbage.
In Bangladesh, especially during the monsoon season, river bank erosion is a significant problem. The Bangladesh Water Development Board estimates that the country loses 1% of its territory to river erosion every year.
Saltwater intrusion is a significant issue in Bangladesh’s coastal regions, where many residents rely on freshwater for drinking and cultivation. According to the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, about 12% of the nation’s total land area is affected by saltwater intrusion.
In recent years, Bangladesh’s rivers have flowed less freely due to a variety of factors, including lower upstream water flows, climate change, and the construction of dams and barrages. This has resulted in less water being available for agriculture and other uses.
So, International Day of Action for Rivers gives us a chance to rethink and act our responsibility towards our rivers.
2.World Bank. (2018). Bangladesh – Pollution of the Buriganga River: An Overview. Retrieved March 12, 2023,
4.UNDP. (2018). Climate Change and Water Management in Bangladesh. Retrieved March 12, 2023,
BCAS. (2016). Salinity Intrusion in Bangladesh. Retrieved March 12, 2023, http://www.bcas.net/salinity-intrusion-in-bangladesh/
✏️Content Credit :
Session : 2018-2019