Changes in the Neighbourhood


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View 1 in 2010

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View 1 in 2014

The neighbourhoods in Dhaka are ever-changing, and the area around the volunteer guest house is no exception.  Alex Berland, Senior Advisor to IUBAT, writes about the neighbourhood:


“I photographed these views this afternoon from the roof of our apartment block.  I took the pictures on the bottom of each pair in 2014, and the photos from 2010 are the ones of the top of each set, for comparative purposes.


The nearly-finished building next to ours (blue arrow in View 1, 2014) was constructed so poorly that it is already tipping on its foundation – but fortunately away from us, but not so fortunately for the encampment of Hindu fishermen who live on the other side.  The little “farm” at the end of our street is still there (yellow arrow in View 1, 2010). Today Khulsum, the farmer, showed me her new baby goats. They and ten older goats, plus Khulsum, her elderly mother and sister, and a cow and a bunch of chickens live in a space the size of a small Canadian city lot.


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View 2 in 2010


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View 2 in 2014

The street is paved now, with drains even. The landscaping is well-established, thanks to the climate. There is only one more vacant building lot near us. Once it is completed, the construction nightmare will be finished.


Our mushrooming middle-class neighbourhood is one result of 300,000 people moving to Dhaka every year. Sadly, the local playgrounds have been stolen by “land-grabbers” in cahoots with corrupt city officials. The good news is that it is still a friendly community where neighbours greet us as we walk to the university about 10 minutes away.”


For those who have travelled to, and volunteered in Dhaka, it may be interesting to see how the neighbourhood has changed and grown, yet stayed the same in familiar ways and with familiar faces.

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