Supported by a Dutch donor, hundreds of Kamala food carts now roam the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh. These orange food carts (Kamala is Bengali for orange) are providing the people of the megalopolis with clean food, according to Next City.
The cart looks like a little house on wheels, with windows shielding the food from polluted air that can lead to contamination. Owners are trained in hygienic cooking practices and provide costumers with paper napkins and hand sanitizer. Before the Kamala came along, food carts were open to the air. While carts have changed, typical Bangladeshi street cart menus haven’t: tea, phuchka (a puffed and hallow crispy shell usually stuffed with chutneys), chotpoti (chickpea stew) and puri (type of bread) are still served.
A 2011 study found that Bangladesh’s pollution levels surpassed the U.S.’s legal limit three times and the European Union’s limit almost five times. Aliya Naheed, the head of the Initiative for Non-Communicable Diseases at the International Center of Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh tells Next City that over 50 percent of people are eating contaminated food in Dhaka.
Next City also reports that because of the urbanization of the city, convenient and clean meals provided by these carts are in demand. With hundreds of these Kamala carts now on the streets of Dhaka, hundreds of jobs are created, while thousands of people have access to clean food. With cleaner food comes a higher cost. Still, the Food And Agricultural Organization tells Next City that Bangladeshis are willing to pay the extra amount for higher quality food.