This is the second feature of our series ‘Photos from Shajjad,’ and follows the pictures from the previous story, “Cloud of Dust”. The accumulation of dust from a construction site in the dry season turns into mud during the monsoon; spillage from insufficient drainage and dustbins may add more. The rain flows over construction sites picking up sediment and other pollutants such as building materials, concrete washout, paint, fuel, wastewater, oil and solvents. The contaminated runoff then enters the what sewage system there is, and is ultimately discharged into local streams, rivers and lakes.
The Monsoon arrives. But there is no break in the construction industry. The work must be finished by a given time. The construction company continues working. Mighty drilling rigs and excavators keep digging deep holes in the middle of the road. The machines expose the underground soil inside out. Dumped piles of yellow soil wash away to spread over the whole road. Incessant vehicle flow spread it further. The result is a layer of mud a few inches thick. But mud cannot stop urban life. Urban dwellers must move, ride the public buses, cross the roads and carry the loads. The locals have no alternative but to embrace the mud.
Shajjad Hossain is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture of BRAC University. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2007 and a Masters in Human Settlement (MaHS) from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 2012. He has also worked as an architect in Binyash since 2008. Shajjad is a candidate member of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB), and is involved in ARCHIVE Global’s “Health from the Ground Up” Project in Savar, Bangladesh. Shajjad is a recipient of several national and international awards in design, writing, and research, particularly involving urbanization.