Major renovations are under way in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka after a fire razed 500 homes last month, with home builders trying to ensure that a similar disaster does not strike again.
The fire, which claimed one life, spread quickly because homes are crammed close to each other. An estimated 500,000 people live on less than a quarter of a square kilometre of land.
Work is now being done to widen the alleyways to give better access to firefighters. But residents are hesitant to give up space.
“Even if I am willing to give up some space, others won’t be,” Yasmin Akter told Al Jazeera.
“I told my neighbour, let’s both give up some space, so we can have a wider road between our homes. He refused.”
Dhaka is no stranger to deadly slum fires. More than 120 people were killed in June 2010 when a fire at a wedding party destroyed six buildings in the densely populated old part of the capital.