Thank you for all your support for project Support the Bangladesh Clean Water Fund. This is our final report for this project.
While Bangladesh has made significant progress in addressing national health and education challenges over the past three decades of its independence, the country remains one of the world’s poorest; indicators place it amongst the least developed countries.
Your much-appreciated support, together with those of other caring donors, has helped us continue our programs and projects in Bangladesh. The girls and boys who benefit from our programs love to say that they have friends in America or other countries who are very special to them.
With the support of donors like you, the community installed a deep tubewell (DTW) and held court-yard sessions to teach the community about personal hygiene. Now, the community takes an active role in cleaning and maintaining the DTW and has installed household latrines and a soak well at their own cost.
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Daxmin Paschhim Amtoli is a small village in Bangladesh with approximately 35 households.
Before support from the GlobalGiving community, Daxin Paschhim Amtoli had very little access to clean water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. Women had to travel a long way to the nearest Government Primary School, which was difficult and particularly risky for pregnant women.
Most of the households didn’t use sanitary latrines or keep drinking water and food covered. As a result, most of the people suffered from diarrhea, especially the children.
With the help of Global Giving, the community installed a deep tubewell (DTW) and held court-yard sessions to teach the community about personal hygiene. Now, the community takes an active role in cleaning and maintaining the DTW and has installed household latrines and a soak well at their own cost.
With access to safe drinking water, sanitary latrines and information on personal hygiene, families in Daxmin Paschhim Amtoli are free from diarrheal diseases.
Why are more tubewells needed?
Children in Southern Bangladesh face frequent illness as a result of consuming unclean water. The geography and climate mean that obtaining safe water is difficult. Water which is in ponds or is close to the surface is usually salty, is often contaminated by arsenic, and becomes contaminated with organic wastes during storms and floods. For this reason, tubewells need to be drilled an average of 1,000 feet. This is something which the poor households and communities served by Save the Children are unable to pay for on their own.
How is Save the Children identifying areas to install tubewells?
In each community Save the Children facilitates social and resource mapping. This is a participatory process to identify assets, such as schools and vaccination centers, and risks, such as areas prone to flooding. Through this process, communities themselves prioritize groups of highly vulnerable households without access to safe drinking water.
How much do tubewells cost?
Each tubewell costs about US$1,000 to build. There are other costs which are needed to ensure that the overall water and sanitation situation improves, and these contributions are made by communities. For example, each community where we install a tubewell commits to building sanitary latrines and a lined pit for disposing of wastewater.
Who maintains the tubewells?
Each community selects two caretakers, one man and one woman. Save the Children provides these caretakers with training and tools needed to maintain the tubewell. In Uttar Lamchuri, the caretaker Farook (shown in photo) noted that he was very happy to provide this service to his village as he has already seen the incidence of diarrhea and skin infections among children decrease. He is also pleased that women, who used to collect water from a distant market place, have more time available to devote to income-earning activities and childcare.
Where are tubewells needed most?
There are a variety of settings where tubewells are needed but schools are a key priority. When children are not able to get clean water and sanitation facilities at school, they get sick more often. This means they are not able to attend school and are less able to learn. So tubewells at schools are critical for the development and future of communities in Bangladesh.
At the Baliapur primary school, 530 students share a single pit latrine. The toilet is old that it can no longer be cleaned easily; the smell is unbearable and permeates across the school yard. Dr. Ataur Rahman of Save the Children’s School Health and Nutrition Program in Bangladesh explains “the latrine is so dirty that children and teachers rarely use it. Instead, they leave school to use toilets at home, missing important time in the classroom. And, if children do use the latrine, it is difficult to wash their hands after as the hand pump is located at a distance.” It was here that Save the Children’s Global Giving campaign for water and sanitation began with a video between children in Baliapur, Bangladesh, and children in Arlington, Virginia. The schools are now corresponding.
Last week, Dr. Ataur and others from Save the Children’s School Health and Nutrition team visited a school about one hour from Baliapur- Nikrail Primary School. The purpose of their visit was to orient teachers, school management committee members, parents and others to the new School Health and Nutrition Program which would bring hygiene education, health services i.e deworming, vitamin A & iron supplementation, vision screening, first aid and other essential services to the school.
“Teachers, parents and school administrators were very excited about the new program,” says Dr. Ataur. “We know from experience that increasing knowledge and awareness goes a long way in preventing the illnesses which make it difficult for children to attend school and to learn. But infrastructure is also critical- it is the hope of parents in Nikrail, and hundreds of other schools like it, that we will mobilize the resources to ensure every school child has access to a clean toilet and safe water.”
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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