Where people proudly live in mud houses | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 21, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:05 AM, January 21, 2021

Where people proudly live in mud houses

The affordable and all-weather houses are still popular in a village called Deshigram for their natural cooling effect in summer and warmth in winter

Just as its name implies, Deshigram in Tarash upazila of Sirajganj is truly a traditional village as most of its inhabitants are still carrying on a centuries-old tradition of living in mud houses.

The village has a little over four hundred houses, and majority of those, more or less 350, are made of mud.

In not so distant past, mud houses were a common site in rural Bangladesh, especially in the north. Industrialisation and availability of modern construction materials slowly replaced most mud houses with brick or corrugated tin houses elsewhere in the country. But that did not happen in Deshigram.

It is not that the inhabitants of Deshigram cannot afford modern materials to build their houses. But they live in mud houses by choice, and for some practical reasons.  

"Mud houses are more comfortable [than houses built with other materials] in both hot and cold temperatures and this prompted me to replace my tin-wall house with a mud house," said villager Mozammel Haque, a farmer by profession.

When his old house, on four decimals of land, needed restructuring, he decided to make a weather-proof house by tearing down the old one and building a new mud house with four rooms in it.    

"During hot summer days it feels cool inside a mud house and in the winter time it's warm. We may not have air conditioners, but we feel quite comfortable in our mud houses," Mozammel said with a smile.

Most Deshigram residents said they are happily living in mud houses, as they did not need to spend all their lifesavings for a comfortable home.

Biraj Uddin, another resident of the village, said a brick building with two rooms costs about Tk 2 to 2.5 lakh while a two-room tin structure costs Tk 1 to 1.5 lakh and a mud house, with the same number of rooms, costs only Tk 60 thousand to 80 thousand.   

"A mud house provides affordable living and comfort all year round, but one doesn't need to loan money to build a mud house. It's our pride," he added.

The mud house is so popular in the area that even 48 out of 50 houses, made of corrugated iron sheets, donated by the government to the destitute, have been converted into mud houses.

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