Uttam Kumar Saha ~ Action Needed In Bangladesh Urban Slums
Bangladesh has been facing the fastest urbanisation in South Asia. Currently, around 30% of 160 million people live in urban centers and contribute 60% of the GDP of our country. The Urban Authorities (11 city corporations and 324 municipalities) are responsible for providing a wide range of basic infrastructural (e.g. water supply, sanitation, waste management) and social services for a livable and healthy environment for all urban dwellers. Slum dwellers and low income communities (around 20-25% of total urban population), essential and important stakeholders who are contributing USD 5.5 billion annually to GDP), remain deprived and excluded from formal services. Slums are characterised by high population density, limited sanitation and hygiene facilities, poor housing, a very low socio-economic status for a majority of residents, a lack of security of tenure and poor governance. Where those services do exist, quality is low and costly to afford. Despite their significant contribution to the urban economy, unplanned growth leads to polluting environment and adverse impact on public health and poverty reduction.