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Bulletins Bulletin : Published and Discussed
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2003
From: ima
Subject:
New Topic for discussion ,,slumps what slumps?
Description:


I was reading this article on how fast bostees/slumps are growing in developing countries. In a recent report by UN habitat ( the agency responsible for “human settlements”) indicated that in 2001 just under a billion people were living in slumps, about a third of world’s city dwellers (a mighty high number). On present trends, the UN report states by 2030 as many a 2 billion ppl could be living in slums. We all know that particularly for developing countries, slumps are very common. I am sure it is a huge problem in Bangladesh e.g. in Dhaka. Urban populations are increasing and will continue to increase as ppl will continue to migrate to main cities to seek for better opportunities.

Now assume that you are a policy advisor on “human settlements” to the BD Govt, what do u guys think the government should do to tackle this problem? I am sure all of u intelligent ppl have lots of ideas on this issue.

Here are few points to bear in mind,

- if u are thinking that it should build houses and improve infrastructure to accommodate the ppl living in bonstees, given that the govt has other priorities if may not have the resources for such projects.
- Ignoring slums or evicting ppl would not be very effective as they will find somewhere else to settle or may return to the same area.

Anyway enough said, I shall let u ppl form ur own policy who knows may be one day it would become useful, we may have a potential policy makers/govt in B2K.
The sky is the limit ppl (plz don’t say if the sky is the limit, how do we know how far we have reached).

So come on cluster, Sb, Vanity Press, Misty apu, Lombu apu, Fiery apu, Sabrina sis, Rony bhai, Caps bhai, Gondogol bhai, Jaceco, Dolchut and the 4th monkey, and the rest of B2k ppl, lets hear ur thoughts.


People Discussion
ima
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

P.S. If u guys do not have anything to say in this matter, just send me one of ur smile, i will be happy with that.

"don't worry be simley"

Aunto
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)



Sb
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)






Sb
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

De-centralize the administration, create more mills/factories/job opportunities outside major cities (ie. Dhk)....thereby try to stop/minimize the huge influx of people into the major cities.

echara people will always rush into the big cities for survival. settlement problem er direct kono solution nei amader moto developing countries e.



capsule20mg
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

hmm
emon onek kichu e hoi ...je somossar somadhan korte giye amra somossa r o batriye dei..

it's ok develop kora hobe or else unnoto hobe
but one ques
jokhon slum develop kora hobe thik se somoi etto mansuh kothai jabe ??

if the authority can deal wid this problem n can give shelter to those ppl s then i wel come the plan

n also ei programme run korte giye kau jeno nije e ekta bari baniye na fele
i mean ghus

****best wishes...n good one ima ***

cluster11
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

Sb is right on the money! The biggest problem in BD is too much centralization. There is a massive gap between Dhaka and any other major cities in the country. Slums happen when there are too many poor ppl and too little reasonable accomodation which is the case in Dhaka. Because our politicians survive on money and power-play all of which is centered in Dhaka, any govt. effort to decentralize almsot alays fails.

cluster11
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

So it has to be a private sector initiative. Like Beximco or other big corporation. But who am I kidding? Beximco is one of the biggest loan defaulters in BD (nearly U.S. $2 billion in the last 2 decades). So its tough to envision big corporation leading the decentralizaiton effort. They might do a lot of media hype and start on it, but more than likely they will ask for partial govt. funding, gobbel up crores of Taka in loan and put our banks in further jeppardy accomplishing nothing.

cluster11
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

I sound negative but it doesnt have to be a huge effort. One example is, establish a good hospital say somewhere in Khulna division. Then build an HMO network involving hundreds of doctors so ppl can get good health care. If this works, many entry level doctors will flock down south. Many ppl will even migrate as they can have an affordable healthcare. This will boost economy in that district. Start similiar initiatives in other divisions. Within one or two decades there will be a significant impact on Dhaka population and you will see a lot less slums. Of course its easy for me to sit here and write abt it than doing anything. But my point is, decentralizaiton is really not as hard as it may look.

Sb
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

oye... it seems i`m smart

ima
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

Cluster/Sb spot on….u guys will definitely get my VOTE, decentralization is the key to reducing the rate of migration to big cities. Cluster I totally agree with u, it would have to a private sector initiative, however I think the govt would have to play a role in terms of provided incentives to industries to locate in other areas, perhaps not by giving them money but rather providing the right infrastructure. But the idea of a hospital is a good one. As u correctly point out it will not only attract ppl (e.g. doctors) but also help to boost the local economy.

ima
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

“Settlement problem er direct kono solution nei amader moto developing countries e.”

Now vista, I think there may be a solution to the settlement problem. Before u raise ur eyebrows hear me out, (loud cough followed by a gentle cough …let me clear my throat). Now where was I, oh yes…solution… how about govt aided “self help”? I am sure u would agree that home improvement and investment in infrastructures are crucial to upgrading slumps. So why not give the settlers an incentive to improve their dwellings? The incentive is giving them property rights. Possessing legal proof of owning the land beneath their home would give the poor ppl the means to finance improvement of their dwellings or even start a small business. (This system worked is PURU but am not sure how effective it will be in BD). Also given that the government bureaucracies are frequently inefficient and corrupt, awarding titles may not be that easy.

ima
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

I don’t have much knowledge on land laws in Bd but I would assume that it is very complicated. Much of the slum lands are usually owned by the govt or private bodies who have abandoned it for far too long for them to have any serious claim, so I think awarding a title to slum dwellers could be a good way of establishing property rights. If it is successfully carried out can u imagine the impact it might have ….slumps can become engine of growth. Do u think our govt. (BD govt) would be brave enough to try this? Shall we put an official recommendation to govt to try this?



ima
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

ooppsss forgot the my vetki

Sabrina
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

Accountability!! That’s what govt. should be made to do. After all, govt. is for people, and govt is formed to protect the right of life, the right of freedom and the right of property. In our beloved country, govt. is looked upon as this high and mighty ruling establishment who can do whatever it wants whenever it wants and no one to evaluate it. It is also looked upon as the problem-solver for all sorts of need and requirement. Instead of being lazily subservient to the authorities, people should take part in the political process proactively. Laws should be strengthened, and executed. They will tell the govt. what they need ...

Sabrina
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

... The legislators and the policy makers will evaluate the feasibility of plans with the help of expert consultants (like the UN), can put them on a referendum, vote and start working on solutions on an ad hoc basis. Instead of all programs coming from the central govt. agency, local govt. offices (urban and rural) should be made functional and responsible and accountable. After all the populus has voted and elected these local representatives, mps and ministers so that they will bring about the changes and the reforms as promised before the election.

Sabrina
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

... The local representative should come up with solutions and implement them to create jobs, provide education, habitat, health programs and food, and his/her office will be evaluated on the progress and made accountable for the failures and losses. People should be taught to be vocal about issues and getting them materialized. Decentralization is one way to go. Work force programs investing in infrastructure building around the nation is another. Finding niche in new business sectors for private financing like waste management, transport and agriculture can create a lot jobs and can hence contribute in improving not only the condition of the downtrodden people but also will overall improve the condition of the society.

mars
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

WELL SINCE I WILL B RUNNIN 4 DA ELECTION SO PLZZZZZ CAST UR VOTE 4 ME.....DA GR8 mars!!!
mars.

ArospO
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

and ami boli jukthi and kotha diye ki hobe?? its not happening in hear future not untill I am alive...jar jemon khushi temon bhabe sob kichu-e cholche sekhane and sobar majhe ghar uchu kora ekta vhab, "who cares?" type!
Take Care all!


ArospO
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

Near*


cluster11
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

True opsii!. Thats why I brought up the HMO network example. Its all good to talk about what should be done but who will acutlaly do it? The government? Hell no! They gotta think of re-election and unfortunatley political success in BD is not tied to actual improvement in the livelihood of the constituents. Then who? private firms? Well already showed the issue with big corporations. Well then Millionaires? oh they are too busy building mosques for local charities and increasing future savings for "Akherat". ..

cluster11
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

that was a generalized comment above. The right candidate for doing the deed can be from any of the above category (big corp, govt. or millionaire) or someone else (like NGO etc.). But the key factor is "incentive". Doing good for the mass feels good to say but is not enuff to sustain a project. Opportunity to make money is a much better incentive. The best solution is a balancing act where a company/group can make profits yet improve the livelihood of ppl in that region. HMO stuff i thought wud be a good example. But I am sure there are plenty of otehr proejcts where this cna be achieved.

Sabrina
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

Correction: executed strictly.*

VanityPress
(Thursday, October 16, 2003)

So, what’s the idea Ima, just because you are doing research in economics, does not necessarily mean we all have to do the same. Remember, we are here for the pursuit of pleasure. But, since you have asked, I’ll give my two cents’ worth:

The migration of people from villages toward the cities is not a new phenomenon, but, rather, stretches beyond centuries. There is an aura of adventure, permeates in every society, which empowers people to move into a new locale in search of new and better lives. Not bound within the national boundary, this migration finds its way in places thousands of miles away from its original domicile, sometimes in great numbers, resulting in changes not only in demographics, but also in societal makeup of the newly settled region.

With regard to the issue at hand, the most common denominator of the influx of people to the cities is the economic incentives and opportunities available for the low-skilled people in the continuously mechanized and urbanized cities. As the rich industrialized nations’ quest for ever so cheap labor continues, cities throughout the third world countries are overwhelmed by the inflow of people employed in sweat-shops making meager salaries barely enough for the decent housing and healthcare, forcing them to the shanty towns and slums. This problem is prevalent in almost all of the developing countries – from Bangladesh to Brazil, Mexico City to Mumbai . This number is undoubtedly on the rise, as more and more companies, driven by their insatiable appetite for profit, are moving their manufacturing and low-skilled operations to the developing nations with little or no regard to the livable wages and, safe and sound working conditions. So, the exploitation of the have-nots continues.

There is plenty of blame to go around – foreign companies are just guilty as the local governments. When this worldwide culture of exploitation is predicated upon greed, it is, often times, discouraging to assert any solution, though I’ll outline a few. First and foremost, companies must adhere to the strict rules and regulations, which, at the very least, stipulate minimum wage and other labor laws.

The government must discourage city-centric business development by providing incentives to entrepreneurs and business-owners willing to move their operations to rural areas. Imperative to this effort is the adequate infrastructure is in place, otherwise no matter how lucrative the economic incentives are the businesses will be reluctant to move. So, the government has a vital role to play in the regard.

A flexible and nimble framework should be in place so as to foster and encourage the private sector entities to participate in the development of infrastructure, which will not only be conducive to the economic development in the rural region, but will also provide employment opportunity for the low-skilled population in those settings. This will also be a mitigating factor to the bureaucratic red tape, which is often time a hindrance to this type of development.

Considering the track record of the Gramin Bank, which found its success in the often overlooked and neglected local businesses by giving micro-loans to the poor and needy, who were only interested in starting a little shop or small fish-farm or poultry-farm, it is possible to keep people where they belong. They don’t need to fall into the lure of the city to endure the hardship for a meager salary.

As for the people already living in the slums, I have similar opinion of what has already been mentioned. So, I don’t want to stretch any longer.

VanityPress
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

correction: just as guilty as (4th para, 1st line)
in this regard (5th para, last line) ... enuff corrections :)

sarah
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

>.for our imaconomist dear
and as usual my dear disco bibi opsi pu is right.."who cares??"..i guess we do, someone has to take the initiatives or else it will be slumps forever..ima dear ato economist BB te ache i dont dare open my mouth

ima
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

Wow it is wonderful to see so many constructive answers. Vanity the idea was to get u guys to share ur thoughts, which u guys did. Thanks to everyone for responding.

Just to clarify this is not part of my research; I came across this issue and thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion. I am very much aware of the fact that we are here for the pursuit of pleasure, having this kind of discussions is something I enjoy so it falls into my category of *having fun*. Vanity, since u have spent some of ur valuable time constructing this response, I am going to assume that u took some pleasure in it. I don’t see any harm in encouraging ppl to do a lil research and ppl will only make that extra effort if the topics at hand interest them. Anyway guys thanks again for ur response (or lack of it)



take care all and be safe.

ontora ..
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

wow so many ideas .nothing rest .any way bye .take care ima sweet sis

cluster11
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

ima, there are some good discussion groups and web portals online which discusses this kind of topic every day related to Bangladesh! In fact soem of them have initiated projects (some successfully) related to Bangladesh. You may want to sucsribe there and voice your opinion. I am sure you will get much more interesting and relevant feedback there than here. Some are:

Shetubondohn - http://www.Shetubondhon.org
Alochona - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alochona/
EB2000 -
http://www.eb2000.org/
TechBangla -
http://www.techbangla.org


ima
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

Cluster thank u very much ...

VanityPress
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

I was only kidding, Ima. Hope you didn't take it too seriously.

ima
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

Vanity u have scared me for life, even my 30min of Yoga, followed by 30 min of mediation *ohm shati*, failed me…… maa kaliiiii shantiii dey . Just kidding …nah, I never take anything too seriously, life is too precious for that, I try to follow my dear Oscar’s (Oscar Wilde) advice. As a matter of fact I was thinking of posting a list of research topics just for u (I know u take great pleasure in conducting research) a lil gift to express my gratitude for ur constructive response.

ima
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

Correction *meditation*

ima
(Friday, October 17, 2003)

*Scarred*

pagol
(Saturday, October 18, 2003)

slump is the place where I live

VanityPress
(Monday, October 20, 2003)

Just when I thought my crude sense of humor was able to leave its indelible mark, you appeared unscarred. But, it's comforting to know you don't take anything seriously.


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