11.The country is characterized by a very dense river network, numerous streams and canals.
The most important rivers are the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Surma. The entire area of Bangladesh falls within the catchment area of the Indian Ocean. Where the Ganges and Brahmaputra meet and flow into the Bay of Bengal, there is a vast estuary called Ganges Delta. It is the largest river delta in the world.
12.Throughout Bangladesh, rivers play a major role.
They are the main source of water for agriculture and the main arteries of transport. The length of navigable waterways throughout the year is 5,100 km (3,107 mi). The rivers also provide more than 800 tons of fish.
13.The original areas of Bangladesh were covered with monsoon forests, which are now severely degraded and have been replaced by agricultural land. As a result of human overexploitation, forests now cover only 14% of the country.
In the Chittagong Hills (an area about 350 km (217 mi) long along Bangladesh's border with India and Myanmar), moist equatorial forests grow, covering an area of about 4,500 km2 (1,737 sq mi). The teak tree, which is used in construction, is found there. Other species found there are: Telsur, Mahogany, Simul and Bamboo scrub.
14.The southwestern part of the Gangetic Delta is covered by mangrove forests, which occupy an area of over 5,000 km2 (1,931 sq mi).
The mangrove forests in Bangladesh are the largest concentration in the world. They provide softwood for paper manufacturing.
15.Among the largest mammals in Bangladesh, Indian elephants are rare, as are gaurs (large, dark oxen, also known as Indian bison).
Among predators, leopard and Bengal tiger are found, but their number is small. There are also macaques and langurs, cobras, pythons and gharials.
16.Typhoons and floods are common in Bangladesh, especially in autumn and winter.
These are always major natural disasters that claim hundreds of thousands of lives.
17.Of the population of Bangladesh, 98% are Bengalis and the rest are mainly Biharis.
The official language is Bengali. The oldest text in Bengali is the Charyapada, which dates back to the 8th century.
18.Islam is the predominant religion.
It is followed by up to 89.1% of the population. Christianity accounts for only 0.53% (417 thousand Catholics and 339 thousand Protestants).
19.The national animal of Bangladesh is the Bengal tiger, the flower is the water lily, and the fruit is the jackfruit, the fruit of the deciduous tree.
20.57% of Bangladesh's population is illiterate. An infamous statistic is the number of children who do not attend school.
For many children, education is a dream come true. It is the only way out of poverty. Many children do not go to school because they have to work to support the household budget. Many do not have the opportunity to go to school because of monsoon rains that hit the country, flooding 1/4 of the land.