Brick Kilns in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is situated on the deltas of several large rivers passing into the Bay of Bengal. The country’s location on this alluvial plain means there is little natural rock available for use in construction, necessitating use of bricks as the primary material for building.  Bricks are used both directly and broken up into coarse aggregate for the production of concrete. To supply this need there are approximately 5000 privately operated brick kilns within Bangladesh, including 1000 around the capital, Dhaka. Unfortunately, brick kilns have severe negative consequences for health and the environment, across local and global scales. Technical innovation can mitigate some of the negative consequences of brick production, but complex geographical, social, economic, and political factors currently impede adoption of technologically improved kilns. As the key decision-maker in BRAC (an international development organization based in Bangladesh), Nepal Dey must decide whether the institution should offer financial support to brick kiln owners for upgrading their kilns.  In order to produce lasting change, he must determine an appropriate strategy to align the varying interests of kiln owners and landlords, workers, nearby residents, brick buyers, and government officials.