According to Estate Department of the CCC, there are 43 public toilets in the city--six reserved for physically challenged people and three for transgender persons—but not a single one for ladies.
The CCC officials, however, claimed that the leaseholders of the toilets sometimes make arrangement for women in some of the toilets.
Razia Akhter, a readymade garment worker in Chittagong Export Processing Zone, told the Dhaka Tribune that she did not use toilet outside of her home, as there was no public toilet reserved for women.
Sometimes female workers have to wait in a long queue to get access to the toilets at workplace due to the inadequate number of toilets in most of the factories.
“During rush hours, it is quite difficult to enter public toilets,” said a woman, who sells cake at roadside.
Ziaul Hoque Sumon, ward councillor of CCC’s Ward no 39, where the CPEZ and Karnapuli EPZ are located, told the Dhaka Tribune, “I never thought about public toilet facilities for women, as the female workers used to go to the lavatories in different markets.”
“I will discuss the issue with CCC officials and raise it in next meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow,” added the councillor.
Meanwhile, our correspondent visited a number of lavatories in Noyabazar, Halishahar-Boropul, Nimtala-Biswa Road and Dewanhat, most of which were found unsanitary.
Even the doors of the most of the toilets were seen dilapidated, exposing the poor maintenance.
A study on public toilets in the city titled “State of Cities: Governance for a Livable Chittagong” conducted by BRAC Institute of Governance and Development says qualities of public toilets is a matter of concern, as around 57% people reported that they do not use public toilets due to the toilets’ unhygienic condition.
Admitting the poor condition and maintenance of the public toilets, CCC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kazi Shafiul Alam told the Dhaka Tribune: “The CCC is going to modernize all the public toilets and that’s why the corporation is not investing more money on the existing ones.”
“CCC has already sent a proposal to higher authorities to set up some rest rooms and toilets for female,” said the official.