The rapid urbanization process in Bangladesh has heightened the crisis of unemployment, shelter provision and urban services. The increased urban population and lack of institutional capacity is triggering increased urban poverty. The objectives of urban development are to serve the community and increase the societal impact of the organization, by supporting the provision of a minimum livable environment to vulnerable slums and informal settlement residents.
Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh began urban development projects in 2012. In the city of Dhaka, Habitat Bangladesh started in three slums named Talab Camp, the slum of Beguntila and the slum of Takerbari. Through a two phase DFAT funded project called “Building Resilience of Urban Slum settlements: A multi-sectoral approach to capacity building”, Habitat improved living conditions for poverty impacted families by renovating houses; constructing drainage systems and walkways; cleaning and repairing drains; constructing water tanks with hand pumps; distributing water purification filters; and constructing and repairing bath houses and community toilets.
Habitat Bangladesh also trains children on water sanitation and hygiene, and trains adults on waste management and appropriate construction technology. For urban development, Habitat Bangladesh has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Australia, ARUP, Architects without Frontiers, PDAP and World Vision.
Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh took the initiative to organize a platform where many of the urban actors in Bangladesh can share experiences to harmonize activities and promote the coordination of urban development through an urban INGO forum. The first Urban Dialogue was organized by Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh in 2013, followed by the 2nd Urban Dialogue organized by Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh together with World Vision Bangladesh and Islamic Relief in 2014. The 3rd Urban Dialogue 2015 was the first large event of this urban INGO forum which took place on 25 – 26 August, 2015 at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka. Twelve INGOs hosted the 3rd Urban Dialogue while the Department of Disaster Science and Management from the University of Dhaka was a technical partner. The contributing INGOs were World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, Oxfam, Islamic Relief, Save the Children and Plan Bangladesh. In addition, the participating organizations included Concern Universal, Concern World Wide, World Renew, Water and Life, ACF and Swiss Contact. This urban INGO forum is growing stronger each year, with new partners joining and new leaders emerging.
Habitat Bangladesh targets to serve 36,661 individuals in six slums by June 2018 while raising US $750,000 from institutional donors, corporates, foundations, and global funding networks to support program growth.
The plan will be focused on market penetration replicating current programs based on infrastructure development, increasing community resilience and expanding partnerships.