When you come to Bangladesh, it is the brickyards (apart from the people, colours and green rice fields) that strike you the most. They are everywhere, easily distinguishable for their high chimneys and piles of both fired and unfired bricks. Bangladesh has a shortage of natural stone, which makes bricks one the most important construction materials in the country. Bricks are used not only to build houses but also roads and pavements and to reinforce dikes and building plots.
Bricks are made manually, using very simple tools. It is a hard, seasonal work. In the course of 4-6 weeks, brick makers work about 10 hours a day in order to provide for their families. Off season, this becomes very difficult a task.
You can often see groups of men or children down on their haunches, breaking bricks into smaller pieces about 3-5 centimeters big. These pieces replace gravel in concrete production when building roads and houses. Bricks are therefore extremely important in Bangladesh. One could say, with a little exaggeration, that Bangladesh stands on bricks.