A Semi-Permanent Slum in Dhaka City

(December 2000)


My guide, a wonderful man who worked in many different slums of Dhaka, explained that there are three kinds of slums: permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary.    Here we walk on one of the many narrow streets of a semi-permanent slum built on telephone company property.   Tens of thousands of people live crowd into this relatively small area.



Most homes are one room.  This young woman may live in the house on the left in front of her.  Everywhere the dirt, mud, and trash create unsanitary conditions in addition to the shortage of clean water and proper sewage disposal.   Note the paper thin bamboo walls of the house behind.   These walls stop neither sounds nor smells.



This woman shows us the "front yard" shared by several families in the surrounding homes.  Laundry, cooking, and washing are all done here.



Everywhere waste water runs through the streets since there are no proper sewers.   Children play in these same narrow dirt and mud streets risking disease and early death.



One of the open sewers of the slum in which waste water and rain water are channeled into the nearest river.    Trash and garbage fill this nearly dry sewer lined on both sides by dozens of homes.


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