Bangladesh: Breathe in, breathe out. Cough.

Photo from http://www.demotix.com/news/1205001/air-pollution-now-costs-tk-124-billion-year-dhaka-city#media-1204970

This pollution is hard to adjust to. I’m told not to expect to see a blue sky for at least seven more months. There are no horizons in this land – just smog of varying denseness.

Photo from http://www.demotix.com/news/1205001/air-pollution-now-costs-tk-124-billion-year-dhaka-city#media-1204970
Photo from http://www.demotix.com/news/1205001/air-pollution-now-costs-tk-124-billion-year-dhaka-city#media-1204970

Driving out of Dhaka, the landscape (or what little that can be seen through the pollution) is filled with brick-works. Bricks made by hand, then fired in basic kilns. The smoke from the many kilns congeals with the smog of the city. Everything is grey. I can feel the air in the back of my throat and between my teeth.

The air is poisonous, the water is poisonous and the fruit and vegetables have been injected with formaldehyde. The mosquitoes that bite during the day can carry dengue fever, and the mosquitoes biting at night can be carrying malaria.

Everything is covered in a thick coat of dust, pollution and grime. The trees aren’t green, they are grey, and over four million people are living in slums riddled with asbestos.

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