Author Name: Iftekhar Rashid Rafat and Sakib Abdullah Khan
There are two holy and joyous days for Muslims every year. One of them is Eid-ul-Adha. Numerous cattle are sacrificed every year on Eid-ul-Adha in Bangladesh. How can the cattle market be in this pandemic situation? Architecture students Iftekhar Rashid Rafat and Sakib Abdullah Khan have shared some of their ideas on that.
The goal is to outline a planning and design guideline for the periodic cattle market, where both the customer and the seller would feel safe during this pandemic. Due to the financial instability of the people, the number of cattle for Qurbani may be less this time than other times. Again, due to the gathering of many people at the Qurbani cattle market, the Corona situation may deteriorate. However, according to some, if the number of Qurbani Haats is reduced, the virus is less likely to spread. But is that really so? Reducing the number of Haats will increase the pressure of people in one place and it may be difficult to control. If the number of Haats increases and proper management is ensured in all cases, then the gathering of people in one place may be lessened and at the same time, it will be easier to supervise.
In that case, we will try to discuss how the risk can be reduced. We will also discuss how cows and goats can be displayed considering the overall situation, how there can be circulation of human and animal movements, how to dispose of waste and how to reduce the spread of the virus.
Animals for sacrifice will come from different parts of the country to different markets. On the way to the market, there is a possibility of the animal being infected with corona. And it is also likely that the virus will transmit to humans from the breath of an infected animal.
Considering from different angles, it is clear that in each case, we are at risk. Again, it is also evident that social distancing measures are difficult to implement in a crowded place like Haat. Moreover, rain and mud will add complexity to the problem as the Eid-ul-Adha coincides with the rainy season this year.
The plight of cattle sellers in the market can be noticed every time. There is a lack of food as well as an unhealthy environment along with high health risks due to Aedes mosquitoes. There is no alternative than to follow the basic hygiene rules and social distancing measures. Of course, everyone must wear a mask and at the same time maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters or 6 feet from each other.
In addition to that, a preparedness plan is required to control the transmission as much as possible.
First of all, it is important to ensure maximum safety when both people and animals enter the Haat. In that case disinfection chamber or tunnel can be arranged at the entrance. Since many people will gather, there may be a large disinfection tunnel instead of separate disinfection chambers. It will take a minimum of 20 seconds to walk through. Both humans and animals can go through such tunnels.
If space is adequate, then a certain distance should be maintained between each cattle. And if that is not possible then cattle belonging to the same owner or from one place should be kept together while maintaining a distance of 10 feet from the nearest cattle belonging to another owner.
Arrangements can be made for the buyer to stand at a certain distance from the animal. In that case, there may be a bargain or conversation with the seller who is with the cow while keeping a distance.
Every time in a Qurbani Haat, it is seen that there is a lot of chaos due to the movement of people and cattle using the same lane. Sometimes accidents happen. If there is a way to differentiate between animal lanes and buyers’ walkways, it may be possible to solve this problem. If a drain can be placed next to the cattle path for waste disposal and the lanes for humans and cattle are separated, then the percentage of road dirt with dung can be reduced. Again, the buyer will be able to move and see the cows in a risk-free manner.
If there is a dedicated path for moving the cattle, some of the people appointed by the Haat committee may take the cattle out of the Hat and deliver it to the owner following all safety precautions. This would also play an important role in new employment in this difficult time. However, there should be a fixed rate for delivery per cattle set by the municipality.
In every 250 meters, there should be an intersection of human and animal roads, so this place has to be crossed carefully. Nodal points will also be provided for collecting ‘Hasil’, money transaction points like bKash, snack shop, hand wash will be provided at a certain distance.
For every ten cattle, there may be a space where the customer can be shown the cattle around if needed and the seller can sit and relax there if he wants.
The asking price can be tagged with each cow so that different buyers do not crowd in one place to ask the price again and again.
Each cow may have a barrier around the cow’s neck with a code number zip lock. The information of the cow can be presented by scanning the barcode or QR code. However, it might not sound realistic considering the limited time available, but it can make the management much easier. After the sale, the price of duty cost of the Haat can be paid only by looking at the code number without crowding with cattle in front of the Hasil center.
On the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, animal sellers come to the market from far away with a hope to get the best price of their year-round efforts. During this annual event of Eid-ul-Adha, the price can be fixed separately by the government according to the weight, age and other criteria of the cow so that the sellers are not deprived in any way and at the same time the unscrupulous sellers cannot destabilize the market unnecessarily. At the same time, bargain over price can be avoided which eventually would facilitate quicker trade. Moreover, the risk of corona can be largely reduced.
In addition, there should be temporary arrangements for vendors to stay and have their meals separately without crowding in the food kiosks or street sides during this pandemic situation.
Temporary sheds can be arranged for sudden rains and importance should be given to rainwater drainage systems.
And finally, after the event, the waste of the market should be cleaned properly.
About the Authors:
Md.Iftekhar Rashid Rafat, Student of Architecture, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology.
Sakib Abdullah Khan, Student of Architecture, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology.
Context contributor: Sheikh Rishad Ahmmad Aurnob, faculty member, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology.