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The Sundarbans under threat

My hometown is Khulna. It gives me great pride to have grown up close to the Sundarbans. Ever since the signing of the MoU over the Rampal Power Plant in 2016, experts have been warning the government of the environmental damage it will bring to the people and the ecosystem of the Sundarbans. The increasing salinity in the water bodies, frequent sinking of oil tankers, and the subsequent spill of furnace oils by hundreds of thousands of litres are already damaging the health of our beloved Sundarbans. In addition, the recent Greenpeace report, published by The Daily Star on May 6, has forecasted 6,000 premature deaths and low birth weights of 24,000 babies that will result from the power plant.
No major initiative has been taken by the government in the recent years to protect the Sundarbans from deforestation, illegal possession of land, and the environmental damages mentioned above, all of which has made the forest uninhabitable for flora and fauna.  We, the people living around the Sundarbans, are feeling completely helpless in the light of the government's decision to ignore all the warnings issued by environmental experts. We are being utterly ungrateful to a forest that is our national pride - one that has been protecting us from natural forces for hundreds of years. In return, we are planning its destruction for material gains.
For the very last time, as a Southerner of Bangladesh who has grown up around the Sundarbans, I beg the government to stop the Rampal Power Plant project and prevent the natural disasters that are imminent.

Md. Jonny Hossain
Dhaka

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