In 1998 there were over 24,000 registered small-scale industrial units in Bangladesh (SEHD, 1998), many of which were highly polluting, Such industry threatened ecosystems and the livelihood systems of local people. SEI was part of The Managing Aquatic Ecosystems Through Community Husbandry (MACH) Project, a Government of Bangladesh project funded by USAID.

The research group carried out a number of linked activities:

  • Working closely with industrialists, to develop an appropriate, cost effective means of determining the type and levels of waste products associated with small industry, through a materials balance system.
  • Assessing the procedures used by factories in the project area.
  • Developing and piloting adapted processes to improve efficiency and reduce liquid waste.
  • Working with the local community to establish the relationship between industrial pollution and their environmental, socio-economic and health impacts., including the development of indicators (bio and others), to measure impacts and monitor change.
  • Working with buyers to develop improved protocols for factory assessment and for providing support to factories implementing alternative operating processes to reduce pollution.

Funder: Department for International Development.