Diaspora-driven development: how to turn wealth to health in Bangladesh

5 02 2013

Sylhet division in north-east Bangladesh, where around 95% of all British-Bengalis trace their origin to, should in theory be the wealthiest and healthiest part of country. The region receives around US $1bn in remittances every year from expatriate Bengalis in the UK alone.

However, wealth hasn’t translated to health in Sylhet. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Sylhet has worse literacy and school enrolment rates than all other regions, child malnutrition rates are well over the WHO emergency threshold of 15%, fertility rates are the highest in the country and expectant mothers are more likely to die during child birth in Sylhet than any other part of Bangladesh.

Full story: The Guardian

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Money for nothing

27 01 2013

That has many questioning the role of the banks, and it surprised us that our commercial banks are actually responsible for creating 97 per cent of money. The way they do that, they create money into existence with a few taps on a keyboard.

Full story: AlJazeera.com

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Money transfer made simpler

17 03 2012

Freelancers to get fast money from abroad as Bank Asia teams up with AlertPay on e-payment.

Freelancers and IT exporters will now receive their payments from foreign buyers without any hassle, as AlertPay yesterday made foray into Bangladesh by launching online payment service in partnership with Bank Asia Ltd.

Full story: The Daily Star

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Earthquake risk in Bangladesh: Facing the reality

19 09 2011

January 28th 2005 – A developer in Dhaka may claim that his building can withstand a Magnitude 8 (Richter scale) earthquake. This statement can be misleading, because in Dhaka we do not have to design our buildings for such large earthquake. The known earthquake sources that can produce large earthquakes are far away from Dhaka. In fact, earthquake resistant building design at a particular place is based on specified ground shaking (known as intensity) for that location and not on earthquake magnitude. It is important to understand the difference between these basic terms used for describing the strength and effect of earthquakes.

Full story: The Daily Star

Land Information

10 09 2011

Ministry of Land

Department of Land Record and Survey’s

Terratech Limited – bringing 10 of the top Software and ITES together under a single company to work towards a single goal of Automating the Land Record Management system in Bangladesh.

Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) – Rights based independent National Policy Advocacy and Networking Organisation committed to the promotion and strengthening of land rights and agrarian reform.

Postal department brings mobile wallet

4 09 2011

The country’s archaic postal department is redefining itself by introducing the ‘mobile wallet’, a banking service that would enable people to transact money or buy anything across Bangladesh with a cell phone.

The Directorate of Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) will introduce the service — post e-pay — in September, said M Mobasherur Rahman, director general of the directorate.

Full story: The Daily Star

All highways in a quagmire

16 08 2011

In any directions you want to travel from the capital, you will find the highways riddled with mortal danger.

With over 50,000 vehicles plying one way every day, the Dhaka-Chittagong road is full of potholes, and chaotic and unfit to accommodate such a volume of traffic.

Dhaka-Mymensingh highway has become unusable due to large ditches and potholes all the way. Bus operators have suspended their services to 28 destinations in Mymensingh region.

There are two ways to go to Sylhet — one is via Tongi through the Kaliganj-Ghorashal road and the other through Jatrabari. The road through Kaliganj is so narrow that once a vehicle breaks down there, miles of tailbacks occur instantly. The road through Jatrabari remains jam-packed with vehicles most of the time. The main highway to Sylhet still remains good but potholes have started to appear at many points. Maintenance is urgent here before it gets worse.

Full story: The Daily Star