Bhashantek slum residents are paying five times higher than the other Dhaka city dwellers pay for getting minimum facilities of sanitation and waste management. But they are being deprived of the facilities as well as their fundamental rights.
“There is no garbage container to dispose domestic waste and sanitary sewer in the slum. We are passing a sub human life for the lack of those facilities,” several slum dwellers told The Daily Star.
Families of four to six members have been living in each tin-shed slum room where a toilet has been set up against around five such families, several slum dwellers said.
“Some water supply lines have been set up by a NGO for at least 15 families and they charge around Tk 700 monthly basis which is also higher than the usual rate,” they said.
“When we demand the NGO people for work to better sanitation in the slum, they ask us to deposit money into a bank account,” they added.
“We pay Tk 200 for a light and a fan in the room,” a slum dweller added.
The overall situation is very frustrating in the slum as people live there with the high living densities, overcrowded housing and inadequate supply of safe water.
Some non-government organisations are working for better living condition in the slum through improving water, sanitation and hygiene systems but the efforts are inadequate according to the needs, said a slum dweller also a NGO activist.
The slum people and their children are becoming sick frequently due to the unhealthy atmosphere increasing treatment expenditure alongside their living cost.
Children fall ill and miss their classes frequently due to alarming breakout of various diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid and dengue, said a teacher of a NGO-run primary school in the slum.
“I am a class eight student of Bhashantek Government Primary School missed school many a days this year because the rain caused knee-deep water on the streets,” Shaiful Islam said.
Mosquito are a large problem for the slum people but neither government nor any NGO do anything to help, several slum dwellers said.