Special Correspondent—March 31, 2017: Environment-friendly brick kilns in Bangladesh are rising in numbers amid the growing demand from the builders.
Experts said that the modern brick kilns would help cut down air pollution widely.
It’s important to mention that the traditional brick kilns emit large quantities of carbon dioxide and other environmental pollutants into the atmosphere each year, causing a harmful impact on health, agricultural yields and climate.
The Department of Environment (DoE) in this connection said that a total of 121 modern brick kilns, including Hybrid Hoffman Kiln (HHK) and tunnel kiln, have been established and more such kilns are set to come into operation in few months.
DoE Director Md Ziaul Haque said, “Investors have realised that the days of making bricks through the traditional method are over”. It is necessary to declare the brick-making sector an industry to increase the number of modern brick kilns, Haque added.
The government also began to enforce the Brick Making and Kiln Establishment (Control) Act 2013 from July 2014 to control air pollution, deforestation, loss of land fertility and to protect public health.
The law prohibits the use of wood for firing brick and soil of farmland and hills as raw material to make bricks.
It also encourages the conversion of conventional brick kilns into energy-efficient and environment-friendly ones such as HHK, zigzag, automatic or tunnel kilns.
The demand for bricks is on the rise as an increased number of infrastructure projects is being taken in the country that sees its economy expand by more than 6 percent every year.
Until February, 4,227 brick kilns out of the 6,646 have been converted into modern ones. Of them, 4,108 kilns have been converted into zigzag or improved zigzag kilns and the rest into HHK and tunnel kilns, according to the DoE.
Some 2,541 FCKs are yet to be converted into modern kilns, according to data from the DoE.
Haque of the DoE said the conventional brick kilns will be phased out gradually.
Bangladesh produces 1,720 crore pieces of bricks annually, according to a 2011 World Bank report. The Washington-based multilateral lender, in the report, forecasted that the demand will rise 2-3 percent per year for the next ten years.
Modern brick kilns accounted for nearly 170 crore pieces, according to BN Dulal, secretary general of Bangladesh Auto Brick Manufacturers Association.
Md Adu Bakar, secretary general of the Bangladesh Brick Manufacturing Owners Association, said that the number of modern brick kilns has not increased in line with the expectation.