|Department of Architecture , AIUB |

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh (HFHB) with Department of Architecture, American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB)  organized a three day workshop titled, ‘Safe Sanitation for Our Habitat: Strategies for Architects’ on June 11-14, 2015. The prime objective of the workshop was to train young Architects to develop new understandings about low-income housing communities, and then focusing on sustainable sanitary facility construction policies and solutions that can work in the rural and urban low-income housing settlements.

Providing people place for shelter is a basic need, and use of safe sanitary facilities as a part of living shelters has become unavoidable. Creating sanitation infrastructure and public services for all that keep waste out of the environment is a major challenge in Bangladesh where only 56% of the population estimated to have had access to adequate sanitation facilities by 2010. This has become a responsibility of Architects to come up with design ideas for safe sanitary solutions which should be economically and environmentally sustainable.

Habitat for Humanity- Bangladesh, an International non-profit organization branch, has been working in partnership with poor urban and rural families to build secure homes since 1999; they have also grown expertise in providing safe sanitary facilities for the low-income communities. In the opening session on 11th June, inauguration speech was delivered by Dr. ABM Siddique Hossain, Dean (Faculty of Engineering) of AIUB and Mr. John A. Armstrong, National Director of HFHB. Mr. Abul Bashar, Program Manager HFHB; Salma A. Safi, Architect & Urban Planner, CUS; Mr. Broja Gopal Saha, Asst Director, CDD; Mr. Mujibar Rahman, Program development Manager HFHB; M. Arefeen Ibrahim, Head of Architecture Dep’t AIUB also delivered valuable speech in their presentation. On the second day, the participants visited Bondhon Community Center in Gondropa union of Mymensingh district, and its surrounding housing project sites by HFHB. This successful trip also gave the students a hands-on knowledge on low-income housing scenario in the broad context of the rural Bangladesh. At the end of the trip, participants visited the HFHB office at Mymensingh, and safely returned back to Dhaka. On the concluding day of workshop, June 14, participants arranged into groups and participated in a design charette, where they designed community toilets for marketplace and community toilets and bathhouses for village families. At the end of the day, their design presentations containing innovative ideas and solutions were presented in front of the HFHB officials and AIUB faculties. Many of their design ideas were well appreciated, in fact, some of the design ideas by participants are considered to be built on actual project sites of HFHB if viable. This workshop was co-ordinated by Mania Tahsina Taher, Assistant Professor, Dep’t of Architecture AIUB; and the program ended with certificate-giving event among the participants.