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Livelihood Status and Health Condition of Waste Pickers in Sylhet City Corporation: A Study


Urban poor are engaged in waste picking in the city areas of Bangladesh, as it requires no skills and experience. Though several studies have been conducted on waste management, the livelihood of waste pickers remains unexplored. So, this study has been undertaken to investigate the livelihood and health status of the informal waste pickers living in the Sylhet City Corporation, Bangladesh using the five capitals of the sustainable livelihood framework. To achieve the study objectives, at first, purposively selected one hundred waste pickers were surveyed. Then, to substantiate quantitative data gathered by the survey, ten in-depth interviews and a focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted. This study found that the vulnerabilities of waste pickers in the city area are the consequences of their poor education and lack of skills, lower earnings, miserable living and working conditions, lower social status, and no access to social services. In addition, they face chronic injuries and occupational health risks, but they are not aware of this. As a result, they cannot maintain a standard of living by their efforts. So, Government and non-government organisations should recognise their contribution and take necessary steps for improving their livelihood and health status.


Waste Pickers, Sustainable Livelihood Approach, Health Condition, Sylhet, Bangladesh



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