Project Be is a youth empowerment organization run by a bunch of teenagers who think a bit of inspiration and belief can bring about large changes in the way we think and act. Project Be motivates the youth to be more active and promotes the importance of sustainable development.They have accomplished some interesting projects though mentioned briefly, our focus will be on the Floating Treatment Wetlands.
Project Chakka: One of their two flagship programs initiated to provide social security to rickshawalas which includes basic healthcare, their children’s education and their spouses well being.
Project Prottasha: A wide scale very long term project aimed at re-inventing the education system especially in rural areas by helping schools attain better class environment, providing teacher training workshops, introducing invention clubs in very rural places, computer training and a lot more. This is a very comprehensive project which is currently starting off with a school in Nawabganj.
Project Shoccho is a very unique initiative by them. It is not like those normal one-day lake cleanup drives that have very small lasting effects. Project Be’s research team found out that in many places around the world a very well-known system was used. These are called Floating Treatment Wetlands (FTW). So they thought why not bring a system that has worked everywhere to Dhaka and install something permanent on the lakes. With this initiative and the support from Gulshan Society the Project Be team manufactured their own Floating Treatment Wetlands and installed already two at Gulshan Lake with one more remaining.
The FTWs have a very simple working mechanism. The system is basically a set of aquatic plants fixed on a raft which is submerged in the water subject to cleaning. The plants take in all the excess phosphorous and ammonia from the water making it uninhabitable for algae growth. Furthermore, the roots of the plants acts as a filter taking in all the heavy metals and impure chemicals from the water there by improving water quality. In certain tests it was found that introducing FTWs in stormwater reserves can reduce ammonia levels to about 200% within a month which is amazing!
Project Be were allowed to launch the project as a pilot project to just influence water quality in a small enclosed area and we are awaiting results to extend on this project and spread a lot more FTWs around.
After installation of their systems, they held an event to raise people’s awareness about the project and also helped clean up a lot of waste from around the Gulshan lake.
Information Courtesy: Mushfiqur Rahman Saad, Head of Project, Project BE