Chemists Without Borders in Bangladesh

Chemists Without Borders representatives were invited to Bangladesh University by the Board of Trustees to offer ideas for consideration as the University inaugurates a program of environmental science degrees and the Center for Environmental Research and Development. Ms. Rachel Pokrandt, Co-Director of K-12 Curriculum and Training, Beyond Benign (a green chemistry education enterprise) and I (Professor Lois Ongley, Secretary, Chemists Without Borders and Professor at Unity College in Maine) arrived in Dhaka on March 3.

Dhaka is a city that is at the forefront of some environmental inititatives: most vehicles operate on compressed natural gas rather than gasoline, plastic bags seem to be banned for most shopping with paper or cloth being used by shop keepers if a bag is needed, each light bulb in my hotel room is CF and there is a switch into which you must place your key for the electrical power to be active.

Our hosts have been wonderful, sacrificing their weekend day off on Friday March 4 to show us the sites like the Pink Palace and Lalbagh Fort, the Language Martyrs Monument, and the Botanical Gardens. We got to see the opening moments of the Bangladesh/West Indes cricket match on TV during lunch. The outcome of the game was not what Bangladeshis had hoped for as the West Indes team won decisively.

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