Around 6, 50,000 people are now living in 3,400 slums in the capital Dhaka city. Dhaka North City Corporation has 1,639 slums with 4,99,011 people, and 1,755 slums with 1,47,056 people living in Dhaka South City Corporation.
Day labourers, rickshawpullers, housemaids, cobblers, hawkers and sweepers are living in these slums. But the recent price hike of essentials in the country, particularly in the capital, has dealt a double blow to them, already hit hard by unemployment and salary cuts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The prices of almost all essential commodities have gone up, making it difficult for the slum dwellers to meet their daily needs. The prices of essential commodities, including fuel oil, gas, rice, pulses, edible oil are being continuously increased, causing serious misery to these people. They do not know how they would survive in this situation.
The government should work
for the betterment of the slum dwellers
Out of the amount they earn daily or monthly basis, nearly half goes to house rent and utility bills. With the rest, they meet all the expenses for their respective families and other essentials. Therefore, in these slums, it is now very difficult for them to survive, says a Buet study on Saturday.
The government will have to take urgent measures to deal with crisis in slums, including providing financial and food supports for them as early as possible. Various projects are now being implemented in order to improve the living standards and health care of poor people living in the slums.
As part of government’s plan, the existing slums in the city are being replaced by multi-storey buildings to allow the inhabitants to live in a healthy and better condition. There would have no slums in the city, rather 20 storied buildings would be constructed for slum people where they would live by giving rent on daily, weekly and monthly basis. Therefore, the government should work for the betterment of the slum dwellers until they are relocated.
Apart from financial hardship, the slum dwellers are also facing various water and airborne diseases as they suffer a lot due to constraints of safe drinking water, drain and sanitation. City corporations and non-government entities concerned should come forward and work together to address these problems immediately. We believe ensuring food, safe drinking water, sanitation, healthcare services, housing and education to the slum dwellers can be the best ways of improving their living and livelihood conditions.