We're Live Bangla Monday, March 27, 2023



If you walk down the narrow alleyways of Korail slum - the largest slum in Bangladesh – all you notice is how congested it is.

However, from a bird's eye view, the place can be soothing to the eyes. Among the hundreds of houses with tin roofs, you see a good number of houses and roofs painted in leafy green.

The history of the green-coloured houses is tied to the devastating Korail fire of 2016.

Bimal Chandra Sarkar has been living in house 334 for the last 20 years.

His house was one of the 550 houses completed gutted in the raging fire on December 4, 2016.

Later, non-government organisation Brac provided him and many other victims with green corrugated iron sheets to rebuild their homes.

"All the people whose houses were burned got green-coloured corrugated iron sheets at the time. I feel good that my house is green," said Bimal.

But not all the houses in Korail are green though. Fifty-year-old Mofila Khatun rebuilt her home with silver-coloured iron sheets.

Brac had provided her family with the green-coloured sheets too. But they decided to sell them.

"They provided us with these green sheets many days after the fire broke out, in the meantime we had to rebuild our home on our own," said Mofila Khatun, adding that they did not have the space to keep the sheets.

Brac's urban development programme (UDP) said that they had provided the fire victims with coloured iron sheets in two slots.

The organisation provided full support to make the sheds and all iron sheets in December 2016 when 550 households were gutted.

It again stood by the fire victims in March 2017 when around 4,500 households were completely burnt.

At the time, Brac provided one bundle of green iron sheets for each family. The families bore the cost of the silver-coloured iron sheets.

"Late mayor Annisul Huq and Brac's senior management had decided on the colour green so that it can be distinguished from others," said Brac in an email.