A recent World Bank report—an environmental analysis of Bangladesh—should erase any remaining doubts about the critical level that environmental pollution has reached in the country.
Living costs in Dhaka have soared so high that it's not just low-income groups struggling to make ends meet—the middle class is feeling the squeeze too. According to an analysis by the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), the cost of living in the capital hit a four-year high in 2017 due to rising prices of essentials and utilities. Onions had the highest price hike last year, followed by other vegetables, household gas, rice, liquid milk and beef. The change in the living costs in 2017 went up by an alarming 8.44 percentage points from 2016. Besides, house rent soared by 8.14 percent and electricity by 6.44 percent in 2017 from that a year ago.
Maksuda Begum, a female migrant worker in Lebanon, who had two tumors in her stomach and was suffering from kidney complications for a long time, breathed her last in a hospital in Beirut on January 16. From being abandoned by the family she was working for to being neglected and maltreated by officials of the Bangladesh embassy in Lebanon, the 35-year-old migrant worker's desperate pleas to repatriate her to Bangladesh fell on deaf ears and her life was eventually cut short.
Bangladesh, once again, returned empty-handed from the Olympics this year, retaining its title of the “most populous country of never having won an Olympic medal”. At the beginning of the Rio Olympics, Bangladesh was one of 75 countries with no Olympic medals.