この地区には約150~200 の工場が建ち並び、3万人程の労働者が従事しているが、作業で使用する化学薬品の扱いは素手、素足。作業遵守があるわけでも、安全性が確保された環境でも ない。また、街の至る所で使用済みの化学薬品を未処理のまま川に流し込む光景や、有害なゴミの放置、もしくは焼却処分を行う光景を見ることが出来る。その 結果、川はどす黒く変色し、ゴミとヘドロが道に散乱し、化学薬品の刺激臭と牛革の腐乱臭が街全体を濃く漂う。そのためここで長年働く労働者達は体のあちこ ちに変調をきたし、短命の者も多いという。



There is a district called Hazaribagh in Dacca, the capital city of Bangladesh.

It’s a southwestern district of the capital known for densely concentrated oxhide processing factories since East Pakistan State era before the independence in 1971.

90% of domestic oxhide production comes from this district and is exported to Europe, North American and Asian nations.

Japan is the biggest importer of oxhide from Bangladesh, mainly in the form of about 4million pairs of leather shoes per year.

The oxhide industry is the second biggest contributor for acquisition of foreign currency, after the textile industry, and Hazaribagh certainly is the center of it.

But according to the Blacksmith Institute reports, an international environmental watch dog, Hazaribagh is listed as one of the 10 most toxically polluted areas in the world.

There are 150 to 200 oxhide factories that has roughly 30,000 workers who handles toxic chemicals with barehand and barefoot. There is no safety compliances and regulations.

Dumping of unprocessed chemical materials into rivers, disposed hazardous waste and unfiltered incinerators are common sitings.

Workers who spend substantial amount of time here have all sorts of physical problems let alone short life expectancy.

The leather  products under this circumstances are traded around the globe today. I headed to Hazaribagh to bare witness the conditions of the workers in oxhide industry.