Tackling noise pollution in Dhaka

Noise pollution is a problem in Dhaka: according to a recent WHO study of 45 locations in the city, the city’s busy streets – with noise from traffic, loudspeakers, factories, cinemas and other sources – often have excessive decibel levels. Studies show that noise pollution affects child development, elevating blood pressure and stress hormones and undermining the ability to learn.

The project aims to raise the issue of noise pollution on the public agenda of Dhaka by measuring its effects on children, campaigning to raise awareness and developing a strategy paper on possible interventions. It will aim to align stakeholders – including local government, the public and NGOs – around this topic, which is new for the city.

Update on the project

Update, April 2018: Research identified two major sources of noise pollution in Dhaka: traffic and construction. It also raised possible interventions, such as planting noise-blocking greenery, locating childcare services further from sources of noise, and conducting a public awareness campaign on the use of horns. After a round-table discussion with city and national stakeholders, a joint advocacy campaign – to be led by the Department of Environment – is now being planned.