Child Cleaning Oilspill

PhotographerArati Rao
Entry Description

This photo was taken in the largest unbroken mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans. This forest serves Bangladesh as the first line of defense against rising sea levels and storm surges, but is under severe threat. Everyday ships carrying hazardous cargo - coal, pesticides, oil - ply through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, causing numerous accidents. This oilspill was one such, significant in how it was handled, with local fishermen and children having to clean up the spill with their bare hands. No gloves or masks were provided to them. Bangladesh is one of the most climate change vulnerable countries in the world.