Bangladesh: Shipyard Workers Face Harsh Conditions

Collection with 36 media items created by zakir hossain chowdhury

29 Dec 2014 23:00

Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka face difficult work conditions. According to witnesses, many workers died in accidents related to explosions. The death toll from 2012 to 2014 at ship recycling yards stands at 44, leaving dozens of ship-breaking workers wounded.

Workers break down the rusty, old supertankers, cargo ships and cruisers that are no longer in use to reuse their steel and parts in new ships. There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.

Ashraful, a 17 year-old worker, has seen several of his colleagues fall victim to explosions, caused by ruptures in gas cylinders. “Our conditions are very bad. Most of us live by eating rice and vegetables. I cannot remember the last time I ate meat.”

About 15,000 people work in extremely dangerous conditions and earn between $4 and $5 as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common. Shipyard workers say make very meager earnings, without proper safety, and surrounded by the smell of asbestos.

Jamal Uddin, 32, has worked in the shipyard since 2012. He is a father of two and lives in his home-district Ranngpur. "I work in this place on a daily basis. There are no days off or holidays, so I can't go visit my family regularly. If I want, I can visit my house once a year for one week but without payment."

Most of the private shipyards use plate-steel, engines, components and machinery from old merchant ships, collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. However, frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise questions about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.

A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one. Other children, mostly climate refugees from flooded areas of the country, work there collecting scrap metal and used oil to sell in local markets.

Bangladesh is now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market, building vessels for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bengali shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Bangladesh Dhaka Industry Ships Shipbuilding Shipyard Workers Construction Trade Maritime Globalization

Title photo for the collection
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 01
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Shipyard workers pose for the camera in a year near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 02
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 05
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

17 year-old Ashraful has seen several of his colleagues fall victim to explosions, caused by ruptures in gas cylinders. He breaks down the rusty, old supertankers, cargo ships and cruisers to be scrapped. Most of them live by eating rice and vegetables. Ashraful cannot remember when he last ate meat.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 08
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

A man is hard at work welding metal in a shipyard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 07
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Most of the private shipyards use plate steel, engines, components and machinery from old merchant ships collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 09
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Two men are hard at work welding metal in a shipyard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 10
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Most of the private shipyards use plate steel, engines, components and machinery from old merchant ships collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 11
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

A shipyard worker gets prepared to weld near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 13
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 14
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 15
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

A boy stops to pose for a photo while playing near a ship recycling yard in Dhaka.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 16
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 17
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 18
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

A mid-size vessel sits in a boatyard outside Dhaka among old ships, ripe for recycling. Bangladesh is now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market, building vessels for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 19
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 20
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

An old ship is maneuvered into place in a shipyard outside Dhaka where it will be either repaired or dismantled for parts and scrap metal.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 21
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 22
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 23
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 24
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

A child plays with her dog inside a ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 25
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

A child plays with her dog inside a ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 26
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

About 15,000 people work in extremely dangerous conditions and earn between $4 and $5 as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common. Shipyard workers say make very meager earnings, without proper safety, and surrounded by the smell of asbestos.

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 27
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

A child plays with her dog inside a ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

Thumb sm
Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 28
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

Young children, mostly climate refugees from flooded areas of the country, work in the shipyards, collecting scrap metal and used oil to sell in local markets.

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children playing near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea

Thumb sm
Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

A child playing with child dog inside ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.