Buriganga Riverkeeper

Buriganga Riverkeeper

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

My efforts organizing people’s initiative for certain rivers of Bangladesh for last few years have directed me to start developing stewardship on behalf of the citizens for the river Buriganga as the Buriganga Riverkeeper to monitor and public the status of the ongoing pollution and encroachment to this river.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Poor governance: Government has taken some steps to clean the river and to demolish illegal structures in the river area. But these efforts are not bringing the desired success due to the corruption and poor governance. Buriganga Riverkeeper will monitor the implementation status of such activities. Pollution: The river Buriganga is one of the highest polluted rivers in the world. The program will collect data about polluters and will check the water quality periodically at different places of the river. Encroachment: The river area is tremendously under encroachment. Buriganga Riverkeeper will take data and images of those illegal occupations. It will conduct law-suits against encroachers and polluters. Restoration of riverbank: This program will follow-up and advise the Riverbank Restoration efforts to ensure a green zone by its bank. Community awareness: Number of different activities like consultation, rally, seminar, discussion and exhibitions at different stakes by its bank will develop the community awareness ensuring their participation to save Buriganga.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

River saving efforts of different individuals, organizations and government agencies are proven failure in Bangladesh due to poor governance and lack of community awareness. To address these vital causes it needs different approach. Particularly for the river Buriganga it has become now a mandatory requirement for the government and people to save this river to save the capital city Dhaka. Government agencies have been adopting various programs to clean the river and demolish the illegal strictures from the river area. But the poor governance has opened another folder for corruption while the river has been degrading continuously. Industries are ordered to install effluent treatment plant who are responsible for 60% pollution while most of those factories don’t have ETP or if there are ETPs they don’t run it practically. So, despite building awareness among the community, it is an unique idea to patrol the river, collect data and public the information to put pressure to the concerned stakes. Buriganga Riverkeeper will initiate legal measures against polluters and encroachers which is also very much innovative here. Commonly in Bangladesh, people treat river as a drain unfortunately. Buriganga Riverkeeper will take responsibility of the river on the other hand on behalf of the citizens to let the people understand their ownership to the rivers and own role protecting the water bodies of this largest delta at the edge of combating the adverse impact of global climate change. None of the citizens in Bangladesh took such responsibility voluntarily ever here so far.
About You
Blue Planet Initiative (BPI)
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Blue Planet Initiative (BPI) and Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA)



Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Blue Planet Initiative (BPI)

Organization Phone

0088 02 9128667

Organization Address

House#159, Road#06, Block#Ka, PICI Culture Housing, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh

Organization Country


Your idea
Country your work focuses on


Website URL

http://Under development

Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?


Do you have a patent for this idea?


What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

The river Buriganga is the life-line of Dhaka. Not only for maintaining the level of groundwater at its basin, it plays direct role in supplying of fresh water to the city dewellers. From the water treatment plant of Dhaka WASA at Chadnighat, the city dwellers get fresh drinking water. Due to the scarcity of water in the river Buriganga and the higher level of pollution to this river, this has become impossible to meet the actual demand for drinking water. For last few years, Dhaka WASA has been meeting the demand extracting groundwater through more than 75 pumps. That further aggravated the situation as apx. 80% of groundwater has been pumped meanwhile. So, saving the river Buriganga is a must to ensure fresh drinking water to the Dhaka City dwellers.
On the other hand, the scarcity of urban utilities like parks and greenery in Dhaka City has revealed alarming. Due to unplanned urbanization, the city dwellers have very few opportunities to go and meet the recreational demand. Particularly the people of old part of the city at the bank of the Buriganga have no free open space to go and having fresh breath in fact. But Buriganga River was the face of Dhaka city during the formation of this city. Ahsan manjeel, Lal bag kella, Choto Katra and Boro katra and many other old historical establishments show us the truth.
If the river Buriganga can be saved and the riverbank gets green as per the plan of the government, it will be the unique place for more than 20 million people of Dhaka.


Buriganga Riverkeeper will patrol entire city part of the river which is in fact the whole river. It will collect data and public the facts putting pressure to the concerned authorities.
There will be a patrol boat for Buriganga Riverkeeper. There will be threat to the boat and the riverkeeper himself from the illegal encroachers and polluters. The corrupted part of the administration will also be involved in conspiracy against the program.


It will develop the implementation status of the restoration efforts. It will guide the policymakers to adopt proper policy and measures to protect pollution and encroachment. It will aware Buriganga Community about their responsibility towards the river.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Expected cooperation and collaborations from the government agencies, CSOs and community leaders, stakeholders and funding source.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Security Threats

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?


Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Blue Planet Initiative (BPI)

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Buriganga Riverkeeper has been developing a network among the CSOs and NGOs that are also concerned about proper restoration of the river Buriganga. As the largest and pioneer civil society platform, BAPA (Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon)that has been steering the Save Buriganga Movement for more than a decade can play a vital role on making this effort a success. We have gathered more CSOs like Old Dhaka Environment Forum and Nagorik (Citizens) meanwhile to work together for this greater interest under Buriganga Riverkeeper Program.
As the Joint Secretary of BAPA and a founder member of Save Buriganga Movement, I have been working very closely with these CSOs to achieve the ultimate objective.
Collaboration and supports from such partners are important to the success of my innovation.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

To ensure the Patrol Boat with necessary program expenditure
To ensure collaborations and participation of pertinent stakeholders
To ensure strong media support to the program

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

At one stage of organizing river saving movement for the rivers in the periphery, I found this was urgent to adopt some professional approaches that would develop stewardship for certain water body. The idea of initiatives like Buriganga Riverkeeper generated in me since then. And I dream to disseminate that model for other rivers and water bodies in Bangladesh in future.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and its movement called Jatio Nadi Roskhya Andolon (National River Saving Movement)

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Email from Changemakers

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

50 words or fewer

MIF Opportunity 2010
Has your organization been legally constituted or registered in your country or one of your target countries for at least three years?


Does the applicant organization have sufficient financial resources to guarantee the co-financing required by MIF during the execution period of the project? (This amounts to at least 50% of the project’s total budget with 25% in cash and 25% in-kind.)

Does the applicant organization have experience managing projects co-financed by international organizations? Please describe below
Please classify the applicant organization according to the options below


What problem-area does your project address?

Access to financing.

How will your project address this problem?

We wish to start the initiative with our limited capacity. But the dedication, integrity and impact will way out the solution in due course.

Who is benefited by the initiative? (Please highlight the type and number of beneficiaries, and their role in the tourism value-chain.)

Entire nation

How will the project's results assist the region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises?

A beautiful river in the heart of a mega city will address these issues in many ways.

A. Total Budget (100%)

US$ 100000 Apx. for 1st year

B. MIF Contribution (up to 50% of total budget and US$. 500.000 max)


C. Cash co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)


D. In kind co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)