I am Gaia. And I am both, the huge blue marble you can see from outer space as well as your very lived environment, the critical zone in which you exist. I am the ground, on which you rely as living beings. I am the place, on which you grow your food, breathe your air, drink your water and build your houses. I stretch all the way from the tops of the highest trees down into the deepest layer of soil and rock. I am here, right beside you.
As your Goddess, the Great Mother Earth, your world, I am telling you my stories with a clear vision on regaining balance, harmony, well-being and wholeness for all.
Today, I — Gaia — am Bangladesh. More precise, I am the area around a shrimp farm close to Dhaka. I, the shrimp-farm-critical-zone-Gaia, can be described as this: my earth surface is overstressed by a very high population density of 165 million human beings who live, work and create their things on my 57.000 square miles measuring ground. I can hardly rest, for there are activities on a 24/7 base. My amount of drinkable water is scarce and more than 80 million of my inhabitants here lack on what the western world would call improved sanitation. 5 million citizens even have no access to safe water. Due to regular waste in the overcrowded areas and the agricultural waste such as pesticides or fertilizers, my precious soil, water and air is toxic to those who are exposed to it. I can feel suffering and disease in every corner I sense into and death is not far away. My air’s wet heat has an epidemic increasing effect and the wind carries the pollution invisibly on, causing an even huger number of kidney disease, diabetes, diarrhea and other intestinal infections within the population. Still, I do enjoy the nice breeze, which allows the 1% to global warming adding smoking activities of millions flow through me softly.
It is textile and shrimps, the population of Bangladesh lives on. If I were asked, I would not want to call it “life”, rather find a new word for these unlivingbeing conditions. In the aquaculture sector of Bangladesh work mostly women, around 1.4 million of them. They are occupied in low-status, low-paid, long-hour jobs and most of them live on less than 3 US dollars per day.