About five million people live in about 46,000 slums in four old metropolitan cities in Bangladesh. This was revealed on Monday by the Centre for Urban Studies.
Forty-three thousand slums in the Dhaka city are home to about 28.40 lakh people and about 18.31 lakh people live in 1,814 slums in Chittagong, said a Dhaka University geography teacher, Nurul Islam Najem, quoting the study.
He said this in a paper based on the study in a seminar, 'millennium development goals and the city,' in the Rajuk auditorium. The seminar was organised to mark the World Habitat Day.
He said the number of slums in Khulna is 470 where about 1.72 lakh people live. The number of slums in Rajshahi is 539 and the number of dwellers is about 1.48 lakh. Islam said according to the statistics of the United Nations, the number of slum dwellers in the world is 1 billion, mostly in developing countries.
The minister for housing and public works, Mirza Abbas, attended the seminar as chief guest; housing secretary Iqbal Uddin Chowdhury chaired the programme.
Rajuk chairman Shahid Alam, Professor Nazrul Islam, KM Moniruzzaman, AQ M Mahbub, Roksana Hafij and Mostafa Qaium Khan attended the seminar.
Mirza Abbas said it is necessary to reduce poverty first for the development of slum dwellers as poverty is the main problem in Bangladesh.Next to poverty reduction, education is also important for the development of slum dwellers, he said. Abbas said the government has taken many initiatives to reduce poverty.