Tree planting along the road divider
In this initiative, every student of the school will be tasked with planting vegetation along the road divider, wherever there is enough space, and they will be responsible for watering and monitoring the growth of the plant. The initiative will be initiated in a festive manner on a holiday with the help of guardians and teachers. A six-monthly token of appreciation will be given to the most enthusiastic planters.
Climate change is the ultimate outcome of excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 60% of which can be attributed to fossil fuels. According to data available from the “Air Visual” smartphone application, which provides the real-time value of the air pollution index of any city across the globe, Dhaka very frequently finds itself at the top of the chart. A report published by the Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) Project under the Department of Environment showed that the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Dhaka stood at 387 on 28 January 2018. According to this index, the air quality of Dhaka is extremely unhealthy, so there is an urgent need to make the city greener. This purpose can possibly be served by making it also more child-friendly.
 An AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality and below 50 the air quality is good. The index is based on the five criteria pollutants regulated under the US Clean Air Act– ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The AQI debuted in 1968, when the National Air Pollution Control Administration undertook an initiative to develop an air quality index and to apply the methodology to Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Source: https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/environment/2018/01/30/us-aqi-dhaka-worst-air/ [Accessed 17 January 2019]
Transformational measures and activities
The initiative will proceed as follows:
- Every student will be tasked with planting vegetation on the road divider and with taking care of it.
- After six months, the best planters will be rewarded.
The plantation festival will be arranged in a weekend/holiday with the participation of the students (basically children) of the school and their parents; the street will be closed street for a few hours. Teachers will also help to make it more festive and there will be placards, festoons and other colourful elements that will give a more festive look. Students will enjoy the plantation festival and will find the road environment friendlier for them as well.
Naturally, however, the implementation of this intervention will depend on getting formal approval of the scheme from the City Corporation’s Mayor Office, which may be time-consuming and challenging. A risk assessment and related health and safety training would also be required, along with appropriate mitigation measures, to ensure that children could participate in this activity safely
Trees along the road divider
This would be effective, because the educational culture is different in Bangladesh than in other countries. By enabling the guardians to have an active participation with their children and by offering a prize, the activity will have a prestigious feel, and so it can be expected that students will be more likely to feel interested about caring for their plant in a competitive matter. The result will be more trees and plants along the roadway, and hence more green spaces in the city, with virtually no maintenance cost or effort for the city authority. At the same time, the intervention will encourage the children to come out more on the streets, to become more engaged in street activities, and ultimately to become more aware of and interested in road safety. In addition, the first day of the plantation will be facilitated by a street closure, thus creating a friendlier and more joyful environment in a festive manner; this will give children an opportunity to entertain themselves in an area that they are usually not likely to access.