In February I spent a few weeks working in my favorite part of Bangladesh, the Sundarbans, on a story about the Rampal power plant and labor exploitation in the shrimp industry.
A man pulls a boat towards the Sundarbans mangrove forest from Joymuni village February, 2014 in Khulna Division, Bangladesh. The Rampal Power plant, a 1,320-MW coal-fired power plant, is being constructed 14 kilometers away from the worlds largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans. The government is insistent that the project is needed to supply power to the country and that the plant is safe for the environment, but activists say that it will destroy the forest. About 50 to 60 thousand people depend on the Sundarbans, collecting crabs, fish, firewood and honey to earn a living.
The sun sets behind Joymuni village, at the edge of the Sundarbans 7-year old Joy Sharko holds a candle in his home, which has no electricity, February 18, 2014 in the Joymuni village at the edge of the Sundarbans in Khulna Division, Bangladesh.
A woman carries firewood from the Sundarbans mangrove forest across the river to her home in Bodomari village in Khulna Division, Bangladesh
Shrimp and other fish are sold in a market in Shyamnagar February, 2014 in the Satkhira District, Bangladesh. A recent report by the Environmental Justice Foundation titled ‘Impossibly cheap: abuse and injustice in Bangladesh’s shrimp industry’ uncovered labor exploitation practices, excessively low wages and numerous other violations in Bangladesh’s shrimp industry. An estimated 1.2 million people are employed in the industry, which is the second largest foreign currency earner after the garment industry.