Excessive Horn & Public Health
The world is sprint through industrial expansion and methodical sequence. No matter what, sometimes it’s true or counterfeit since somewhere people are blameless victim of socio-cide or somewhere eco-cides are occurring for the interest of few people or community. In 2017, Rechard Thaler won noble prize for “nudge theory” in economics section. This theory is very imperative for the interest of mass people, the society, sustainable economic strength and global environmental security.
Nudge is a world from Latina which means to push through arm. It’s very effective that various states are taking this at their prime minister or president offices – England, Singapore and Australia. Basically there are four nudges – mindful nudge, mindless nudge, encouraging nudge and finally discouraging nudge. Mindful nudges guide people to more controlled state – ensuring peace in a society from criminalization, drinking pure water, controlling unwanted noise, eating non-adulterated food, saving money, stop smoking, protecting wildlife and forest, integrating climatic education, looking forward for poverty reduction. Mindless nudges use emotions to influence the as usual decisions that people seize. Encouraging nudges facilitate the implementation or continuation of a particular behavior – actually the attitude which is in good physical shape for economy, society, ecology and nature. And finally, discouraging nudges hinder or prevent behavior that is believed to be unwanted – kill general people though violating laws, road accident, food adulteration, intellectual fraud, telecasting sexism though mass-media, gender discrimination and even environmental insurgencies.
Through using this theory – Australia, Singapore and England are taking people and society oriented policy. They initiate a public platform where people raise their voice to resolve or adapt the problems or burning issues. As a result of geo-graphical location and people’s unsustainable behavior towards nature, Bangladesh is a guiltless victim of climate change and environmental hazards.
For example, excessive noise is very inimical for public health and Environment. Dhaka city is a multitude area in Bangladesh. The elemental survey has been conducted on different industries, hospitals and bus stations in Dhaka city by taking insight of laborers, traffic polices, drivers, passengers, shopkeepers and doctors.
The observation is that average level of noise at industrial area is 88.59 DB, Hospital area is 70.57 DB and Bus station area is 100 DB. Every areas are go beyond the standard level of noise if we consider the standard level of noise at industrial area is 50-60 DB, Hospital area is 45 DB and Bus station area is 70 DB. In this context, lack of engineering controls, using analogue machines and lack of awareness of noise in urban area creates insurgencies on public health and nature. Other hand, corporate grabbers are not cooperative to environment and general laborer, which creates auditory, psychological and physiological effects on general people.
To control excessive noise insurgencies at both rural and urban area, under the ‘noise control act – 2006’, local government may arrange a agreement with automobiles groups, owner of different vehicles and specifically train the vehicles driver to resolve the noise pollution which is very harmful for public health and particularly for school going children and pregnant women. If we can do effectively, it will be a mindful nudge. We may push nudge among people by noise impacts awareness program. People may be change their behavior if he thinks that my uncontrolled horn or unwanted noise from construction or train or concerts or creates negative externality for the people and natural settings.
Urban Ecologicla Threats of Cell Phone Towers Radiation
Currently, there are more than 12 cores cell phone users and nearly 21,600 cell phone towers in Bangladesh to meet the communication demand. The amount of Grameenphone towers is 9,500, Banglalink is 5,300, Robi is 3,056, Airtel is 1700 and Teletalk is 594. As a result, people have been debating about associated health risk due to radiation from cell phone and cell tower. In Dhaka city, cell towers are mushrooming all over the places. GrameenPhone, Banglalink, Robi, TeleTalk, Airtel are major mobile carriers in Bangladesh.
Due to great demand of mobile phone in Bangladesh various operator have built their tower and networking system through antenna all over the country. In Bangladesh, there are three types of mobile towers are used. These are, Roof Top Tower, Green Field Tower and Green Field Roof Top Tower. In general, there are 3 indicators to measure radiation which are explained below:
Power Density: Power density is the amount of power per unit volume. In energy transformers like batteries, fuel cells, motors, etc. it refers to a volume. According to the world health organization (WHO), the safety limits of radiation levels at different frequency bands are;
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has carried some measurements of radiated power density from all cell phone tower sites in Dhaka city and found the following outputs;
Electric Field Strength: Electric field strength is a quantitative expression of the intensity of an electric field at a particular location. According to the world health organization (WHO), the safety limits of electric field strength at different frequency bands are;
According to Bangladesh telecommunication regulatory commission electric field strength through different frequency bands from all cell phone tower sites in Dhaka are;
Specific Absorption Rate: Specific absorption rate is related to electric field value and absorption of human tissue, can be used to check safety hazards. The world health organization has given the standard rate 1.66 w/kg. But the situation of Bangladesh on absorption is different.
Radiation from Cell phone and cell tower affects the birds, animals, plant and environment. One would never see a bee, sparrow, pigeon, or any bird flying and staying near the cell tower. The reason is that surface area of a bird is relatively larger than their weight in comparison to human body, so they absorb more radiation. In several countries, an abrupt disappearance of bees has been several years back and was associated with the rising electromagnetic pollution. This is known as Colony Collapse Disorder where bees cannot find their way back to the hive as a result of consistent electromagnetic back ground noise that seems to disrupt intercellular communication within individual bees. When honey bee colonies were exposed with radiation, the honeycomb weight and area were reduced and returning time of honey bees increased compared to similar non-exposed colonies. The current vanishing of honey bees can have serious consequences for human health. When birds are exposed to weak electromagnetic fields, they disorient and begin to fly in all directions, which explain migratory birds undermining navigational abilities. A large number of birds like pigeons, sparrows, swans are getting lost due to interference from the new “unseen enemy”. During recent decades there has been a marked decline of the house sparrow population. A stable house sparrow population indicates a healthy ecosystem for human beings in terms of air and water quality, vegetation and other parameters of habitat quality. Whereas, a declining population of the bird provides a warning that the urban ecosystem is experiencing some environmental changes unsuitable for human health in the immediate future. It is proved that cows grazing near cell towers are more likely to experience still births, spontaneous abortions, birth deformities, behavioral problems and general declines in overall health. Moving cattle herds away from such towers has reportedly led to immediate health improvements. Exposing dairy cows to magnetic fields can also result in reduction in milk yield, changed milk composition and fertility problems. Similarly, impaired immune system in sheep, reproductive and developmental problems in dogs and cats, anxiety and alarm in rabbits, frequent death of domestic animals such as, hamsters, and guinea pigs living near base stations of mobile telecommunication towers has been observed. Apart from bees, birds and animals, electromagnetic radiation emanating from cell towers can also affect vegetables, crops and plants in its vicinity. Studies show definitive clues that cell phone tower radiation can choke seeds, inhibit germination and root growth, thereby affecting the overall growth of agricultural crops and plants. Trees located inside the main beam, have much lower fruit yield, have dried tops, show slow growth and high susceptibility to illnesses and plagues. Also, electromagnetic radiation generates heat, which may kill micro-organisms present in the soil near it. This in turn harms those organisms which feed on them and disturbs the ecological cycle. I have seen different problems among the people in Dhaka city. Different mobile operators have established their tower at populated zone. As a result, nowadays people are facing inimical problems. Such as sleeping disturbances, headache, dizziness, changes in anxiety, depression, generalized burning sensation, episodes of shaking, fits, mood disorders, palpitation, diarrhea, skin rash, libido disease, fatigue, irritability, memory loss, hopelessness, heaviness of chest etc. But people of Dhaka city are still unaware about electromagnetic radiation and its impact.
Organic Fertilizer from Urban Solid Wastes to Roof-top Gardening
The management of waste is one of the obligatory functions of urban governance institutions in Bangladesh. The yearly escalation in urban population of Bangladesh is over 3.3per cent. Population Division of UN (2016) has mentioned the urban Population Status in Bangladesh: it was 23.8per cent in 2000; 30.4 per cent in 2010 and 2016 it is now 34.9per cent. It can be 38per cent of the total population by the year of 2020. at the same time waste generation has also augmented proportionately with the intensification of urban inhabitants. Disposal of solid wastes in all the urban areas is inadequate. Each day 4000 tons solid waste and 22000 tons tannery waste mixes with water in 4 rivers of Dhaka city. Although there are 1000 street cleaners in the Dhaka city corporation, most of the streets are never swept. Nowadays, in south city corporation ? 3500 tons waste are generated where 1900 tons are processed. But 1600 tons are out of processing. Poles apart industries and their contribution to pollution in Dhaka city are: Pulp & paper – 48%; pharmaceuticals – 16%; Metals – 15%; Food industry – 12%; Fertilizers/pesticides – 7%. In this context, identifying degradable materials from household garbage, industrial wastes, we may plan to manufacture organic fertilizer to use in urban roof-top gardening.
Roof-top gardening are very unique and beautiful. This means that home owners will probably use less insulation on their roofs when they build and they will also use less energy to both heat and cool their homes. Studies have shown that roof-top garden can reduce cooling costs by 25 per cent during the summer months alone. Green roofs are energy-efficient, reduce heat instability and less energy for cooling or heating can lead to significant cost savings. Roof-top gardening also burns fewer crude oil that is fewer greenhouse gases, which is great for everyone. In Dhaka city, there are 6,000 rooftop gardens. To encourage people to set up such gardens, the two Dhaka city corporations may take a decision to reduce holding tax if any family goes for rooftop gardening.
The many benefits of rooftop gardens in urban zone to public, private, economic and social sectors, as well as to the global environment are really inclusive and sustainable. Eco-friendly rooftop garden can generate oxygen which is an excellent way to ensure sustainable cities and communities. Integration of city corporations, community peoples and agricultural extension network make a platform to transform organic materials from solid waste to inject in roof-top gardening in Dhaka.
Although Bangladesh is making some efforts to resolve some of urban environmental crises, no efforts will be adequate to face these challenges without identifying the underlying causes nationally and addressing them locally. To make our cities livable, we need a great push from within the government. Decentralization of power, empowerment of local governments and the establishment of more city councils could be some good first steps. In order for Bangladesh to truly become a developed country, our urban centers would need to be transformed into global cities by 2041. That will require more research and effort to discover a sustainable urban planning strategy that would best suit our cities and communities.
Principle of Intelligent Urbanism for Bangladesh
This principle of intelligent urbanism states there is a level of human habitation intensity wherein the resources that are consumed will be replaced through the replenishing natural cycles of the seasons, creating environmental equilibrium. Intelligent urbanism induced opportunities are in urban area: primary education, skill development; primary health care, potable water security, solid waste disposal and hygiene; urban facilities like storm drainage, street lights, roads and footpaths; recreation and entertainment; Transport, energy, communications; public participation; Finance and investment mechanisms; urban open space where goods and services can be produced; and rudimentary economic infrastructure.
If we search for sustainable urbanization through intelligent urbanism theory, we have to address disparities between rich and poor, insecurity and social unrest, diversion of resources to safety and security and inability to cope with demand for services. In urban area of Bangladesh, people are so much insecure to access drinking water, electricity, gas lines, clay, cables and drainage water road, beggar free footpath. As we are targeting for middle income country by 2021, greening the transportation system, ecological hazards free high-rise buildings, co-ordination among RAJUK, DCC, WASA; polluters-pay industrial system, context demands to employ theory of intelligent urbanism.
The planetary crises both for rural and urban area are uprising day by day due to global warming and climate change. The world urbanism day demands the nexus among environmental security, heritage conservation, mass people oriented appropriate technology, infrastructure-efficiency, time-oriented land use planning, social security access, transit-oriented development, decentralization, public participation, regional integration, human to humane development and institutional integrity for good looking sustainable cities and communities.
Bangladesh is on the way of middle income country. Time offers to value the people’s development or collective wellbeing. In this context, the concept of nudge by behavioral change is essential to address environmental, social and climatic crises urban area. It can be such a ways – contemplation (aware and behavior towards the problems), preparation (intends to take action), actions (practices to desired behavior), maintenance (works to sustain the behavior change).
The writer is environmental analyst & Associate Member of Bangladesh Economic Association