Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

Rooftop gardening: possibilities and challenges

Dhaka, 8 July, 2021: Rooftop gardening is a private eco-friendly venture that provides a chance to be close the nature and to harvest fruits and vegetables in one’s hand. As the agricultural land of our country is shrinking at a rapid rate, rooftop gardening can play a vital role to preserve nature. Some people have come forward for urban agricultural development. Various television programmes, YouTube channels, social media platforms like Facebook have popularised rooftop gardening in both metropolitan and divisional city areas. However, many house owners are still in doubt regarding rooftop gardening due to funding and fear of damaging the stability of the roofs. Therefore, before considering a rooftop garden, a house owner must have a proper plan and vision; otherwise, all the efforts will end in smoke.

The unused or underused spaces of the roofs of the millions of building in Bangladesh can be beautifully decorated with well-planned gardening. Keeping in mind one’s demand and like-dislike, one can create a vegetable garden, fruit garden, flower garden, or mixed gardens on their rooftop. Fruits, vegetables, and flower mixed plants based gardens are most popular among the city gardeners. Not only in Dhaka city but also other cities, high rise buildings are being built at a rapid rate. It is estimated that over ten per cent of the roofs of Dhaka city has adopted rooftop gardening over a decade. Since the people’s awareness of climate change and to protect nature; city dwellers have started rooftop gardening as an alternative for plantation in the lands. To promote rooftop gardening, both the mayors of Dhaka City Corporations have promised a ten per cent holding tax debate. Even if half of the buildings of Dhaka city facilitate rooftop gardening on the roofs, it would be great for our environment.

In the monotonous city life, rooftop gardening provides quality recreational activities. Manual labour in the garden like watering the plants, cleaning the floor, plough the soil of the pots, making natural fertiliser increase physical activities. As people nurture the plants, they feel peaceful inside – their stress, anxiety, and fatigue lessen quite dramatically. Thus, rooftop gardening is gradually improving people’s life. Most of the city dwellers live in pigeon box where their life is heavily dependent on electronic devices, gadgets, concrete building, and vehicles. Trees are being cut down mercilessly everywhere, therefore, there are not adequate trees in urban areas to keep the balance in the environment. Rooftop gardening and small-scale veranda gardening provides people with a small opportunity to spend time with nature as trees are the heart of nature. Besides, in the age where carbide and formalin are found almost in every food product, fresh and organic fruits, vegetables are rare to find. When people obtain fruits and vegetables from their hand, their soul leaps up with joy. There is an intense amount of inner satisfaction for having fresh fruits and vegetables from one’s quest. On top of that rooftop, gardening can create a new type of biodiversity in nature in the city area. Different kinds of birds, bees, and insects can have shelters. At the same time, some passionate gardeners also breed pigeons and koel birds side by side in their garden. It provides them with both fresh and secure vegetables and meat without a doubt. Moreover, it contributes to the family’s good health and saves a lot of food costs. Rakiba Khanom, an inhabitant of Mohammadpur, Dhaka said, ‘The smell of the flowers make my day and ease my pressures from the corporate world. In the morning and after the office, I spend quality time in my rooftop garden. I enjoy my time. My whole family enjoys seasonal fruits of my garden wholeheartedly.’

As the day progresses, the air quality of the city area worsening day by day. The industrial toxic gas, CO2 from vehicles make the air dangerous and toxic for breathing and it’s like a slow poison that city dwellers are inhaling. It is true that rooftop gardening and small-scale veranda gardening maybe not change the environment overnight but it enhances the air quality and supplies oxygen well enough to survive for a lot of people. Even if, it is a tiny amount but it means a lot for healthy living. Recently, due to the high demand for rooftop gardening, newer types of jobs are also being created like manpower for taking care of plants, growing plants, preparing fertiliser, making plant pot with lucrative designs, and so on. New start-up companies are being created to support city dwellers as the expert horticulture team can provide expert services in taking care of one’s private garden for maximum productivity. Among them ‘Green Savers’ a Dhaka-based nationally and internationally acclaimed organisation provides full support in setting up rooftop gardening and taking care of the plants.

The challenges of starting a rooftop garden are many. It requires continuous effort from the gardener. Unplanned and random rooftop gardening cannot bear a good result in the long run. At the same time, most of the rooftop gardeners are lack proper knowledge of gardening, selecting healthy plants, fertile soil, and so on. Though inspired by YouTube people are knowing about rooftop gardening but this is not enough. Short training on rooftop gardening, advice, and the right directions from skilled and experienced persons can benefit the beginner. In the city areas, only the building owners can create a rooftop garden, the tenants can hardly get the permission of doing so. For this reason, the tenants can only plant few tree pots in their veranda and be happy with it. Consequently, with the high demand for soil, city dwellers are not having sufficient fertile soil. Dishonest sellers sell bad quality soil that cannot support the plants properly, thus, it is reducing the plant’s productivity and letting them die quickly. Moreover, the lack of natural fertiliser is also a big issue. Using chemical pesticides and fertiliser can have a very bad impact on the health of the family. Rooftop gardening needs well-thought planning of the rooftop, easy supply of water, airflow, enough sunlight exposure, protection from scorching sun’s heat, and so on. To meet all these conditions the urban building rooftops need special care and design as well as renovation accordingly. In that case, landscape architects and structural engineers can help the house owners to build customised rooftop gardens according to their needs and demands.

Expert and skilled agriculturalists can play a vital role in the maximisation of urban agricultural development and rooftop gardening. Bangladesh, being an agricultural county, the agricultural education sector in this part has not yet been developed so far. Modernisation of the agricultural sector has become a dire need. Agriculturalists can help a lot to promote and improve the quantity and quality of rooftop gardening by helping the less experienced ones in this sector. On the other hand, rainwater harvesting can be installed to reduce water intake in the garden. It should be kept in mind that rooftop gardening cannot give anyone much economic gain but the amount of natural closeness and recreation it provides is just priceless. Therefore, city dwellers should be encouraged to start rooftop gardening as much as possible for the betterment of our environment.

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Posted by on Jul 8 2021. Filed under Bangladesh Exclusive, Become a Citizen Journalist, Blog, Citizenship, News at Now, No Toxic, Zero waste. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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