Heads of DFID and UNDP visit urban upgrading in Dhaka slum together
Head of DFID mission in Bangladesh Sarah Cooke and UNDP Country Director Pauline Tamesis made a joint visit to a UPPR community on 28 April to observe and better understand the urban challenges the poor face in slums as well as UPPR’s integrated approach to address urban poverty.
They met executive committee members and staff of NDBUS, a slum dweller organization and partner of UPPR. Following an hour long meeting, NDBUS leaders accompanied the visitors to a slum community in Mirpur area named Rahamat Camp.
Rahamat Camp is a sizeable slum in Dhaka consisting of more than 2,500 households, relatively large number of Pakistanis, commonly known as the Bihari community, who have been stranded in Bangladesh since the country’s independence in 1971. The community which supposed to be repatriated to Pakistan has been dithering between hope and gloom because of the despairing repatriation politics existing today. In the community, UPPR assists four UPPR CDCs that are in partnership with NDBUS.
Sarah and Pauline met members of one of the CDCs in Rahamat Camp who described the community mobilization process and the way they conducted the mapping and participatory identification of extreme poor and poor as well as the community action plan preparation process. The local CDC leaders shown them the environmental upgrading and improved water sanitation system through which they have been able manage legal water connection from Dhaka WASA. Sarah wanted to know from the extreme poor women, who have graduated from extreme poor to poor status, which impact UPPR’s engagement made that they thought was the most remarkable. She was most impressed to hear how the community have been able to have an impact on the issue of early marriage and dowry and reduce the rate of violence against women. They also visited a CDC run day care center and interviewed household members who had been able to change their lives and improve their living environment with UPPR support.
Sarah Cooke and Pauline Tamesis were accompanied by Mary-Ann Taylor and Luke Bailey from DFID’s side and Kishore Singh and Ashekur Rahman on behalf of UNDP.