A third of the population in high density Dhaka city cannot rely on piped water, according to a new global report released on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dhaka ranked 17th among the 20 most unsustainable megacities in the world with poor living conditions, said the report titled, "Ecological Threat Report (ETR) produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
Eight cities in South Asia are among the world's 20 most unsustainable megacities, and are facing the highest population growth and worst vulnerability to ecological threats.
Dhaka has been one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Between 1990 and 2005 the city’s population doubled from 6.0 million to 12 million. The city’s population is further expected to increase, rising to 35 million from its current population of 22.6 million, an increase of 53 per cent.
One reason for this growth is that about 2,000 people move to the city daily.
Dhaka struggles to provide good living conditions to its residents due to its inability to deal with waste. The city generates approximately 5,000 tonnes of waste per day, but only half is properly collected and disposed of.
The city, combined with rapid urbanization, is affected by ecological changes in several ways.
Dhaka is located on an area of just 360 square kilometres with a 22.6 million population and has become one of the most densely populated cities in the world (with 29,000 inhabitants per square kilometre), the report added.
The city is impacted by regular floods, which are only likely to increase. As it is low-lying, it may be affected by sea level rises, while also coping with infrastructure problems, particularly in transport, water, waste and energy.
Dhaka’s rapid urbanisation highlights its central role in Bangladesh’s drive to move from being a low-income to a middle-income country. The city generates around one-fifth of Bangladesh’s total economic output and provides more than 40 per cent of its formal sector jobs.
Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), featuring exclusive research from the Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll, the Ecological Threat Report tracks the links between climate-change, ecological threats, and violent conflict or forced migration each year.
Dhaka, Lahore, Kolkata, Delhi, Karachi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad are eight of the 20 cities facing the highest population growth and worst vulnerability to ecological threats.