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Bangladesh – deployment of mobile toilets in Dhaka

Bangladesh has ordered an emergency deployment of 100 mobile toilets in its capital to head off a worrying rise in public defecation, Dhaka’s mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka said. With an official population of 12 million (unofficially 20 million), the city has only 48 public toilets – one for every quarter of a million residents.

“We have launched 100 mobile toilets, which will be carried around manually on tricycle vans. They will be strategically placed so that people don’t have to use road corners to answer the call of nature,” he said.

The tin-sided mobile toilets are plastered with colourful advertisements including quotes from a famous Bangla poem which tells people: “Let’s do good work, no matter where you were born.”

They also carry posters urging people not to treat streets and open spaces as public toilets.

The mobile toilets will charge five taka (3.5 US dollar cents) for people to defecate and two taka to urinate, and are now available for 12 hours a day — between 8am and 8pm.

Dhaka’s chief city planner, Sirajul Islam, said the authorities had adopted the mobile toilet plan after failing to identify sufficient plots of vacant city-centre land on which to build permanent public toilets.

“The situation has become so bad on some roads that you cannot walk there. This is spreading disease,” he said.

Source: AFP, 26 Jan 2010

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