Katihar market is one of the oldest weekly markets in this northern region of Bangladesh. The market had seen generations of many business families who are doing their business here for a long time. On an average, the age of the shopkeeper was roughly 47 years, ranging from 20 to 80 years. They were mostly (46.3%) middle-aged adults with roughly 26 years of experience. Women proportion as shopkeeper was only 9% and they were seen to be tagged along with their husband or father. Most of the shopkeepers (31.3% each) had either signatory knowledge or primary education. Muslims (77.6%) had higher density where the rest (22.4%) represented the Hindu religion.
Ownership status of the business/ shop
The market area is totally owned by the government and leased to the local leaseholders for a year. All of the shops are floating or rented from the leaseholders although 9% of them had built temporary shades with their own cost. Based on their type of business, they paid roughly 67 BDT, ranging from 10 to 200 BDT per month.
Environment of the market
The collective goodness of the market environment accumulated total 20.9%, whereas 4.5% reported the environment very bad.
Dustbins in the market
Katihar market has only one visible and functional dustbin. So, it’s quite obvious that 98.5% of the shopkeepers found it insufficient. The dustbin was left abandoned and none of the shopkeepers (0%) think that people use it properly. Only 3% shopkeepers threw their waste to the dustbin while the rest (97%) left their wastage in open space to be collected by the waste collectors. Besides, 7.5% shopkeepers had a guess that the garbage collectors might have collected from the dustbins also. A good practice was observed, more than half (52.2%) regularly cleans their shop after they complete their sales. Most of them (67.2%) reported that the leftover of garbage produces bad smell.
Drainage system of the market
Katihar market has a very bad drainage system with insufficient and narrow drains agreed by everyone (100%). They also agreed that the overflow of drain causes water logging in the market and the stagnant water produces mosquitoes and flies, while 79.1% reported have reportedly shoppers throwing their garbage in the drains.
Public toilets in the market
Katihar market has only one functional public toilet based on only one unit of tube well with no water supply facility to the latrines. Total 95.5% of the shopkeepers found the toilet was insufficient for the thousand’s shopkeepers and customers and another 86.6% found the single tube well was not enough as people needs to be queued in lines to get water. The study observed that there is no specialized facility for the women, transgender, and PWDs. Most of the shopkeepers (58.2%) including women often try to deny visiting the public toilet. The women were always forced to not using the facility as it looks odd the stand both men and women in the same que. Almost all of the shopkeepers (94%) agreed that the toilets were not clean enough. As the day goes by, the toilets get dirtier. The study encountered quite a debate regarding the hand washing facility as 34.3% of the shopkeepers recognized the tube well as hand washing station. On the other hand, the rest (65.7%) believed that the hand washing station is a separate entity with more specialized facility than the raw water source. The study screened out that most of the shopkeepers (56.7%) avoided the public toilet because the toilet was unclean. Rest of them mostly had the issue with water, as 31.3% reported that there was not enough water while another 17.9% reported the lack of hand washing facility. (to be continued)