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Bangladesh. Fresh Water Source.

Helping communities to access clean water and support women to earn a living

Please help us to improve water and sanitation facilities for 6,340 people.

Donate to this project 

Your donation can do something brilliant

This project is about protecting the water supplies, hygiene and livelihoods of communities living in coastal areas in Bangladesh, which are prone to flooding. We aim to help communities to access safe, drinking water and sanitation facilities, and enable them to prepare for natural disasters. Your support could also help poor, vulnerable women to develop business skills and earn an income.

With your support, we will aim to:

  • Provide 5,500 people with access to safe drinking water from 8 new water sources.
  • Provide 6,340 people with improved sanitation facilities, and help them practise safer hygiene.
  • Support 744 water committee members to gain the skills to develop action plans to better prepare for natural disasters.
  • Support 1,500 people to take part in income generating activities in order to earn a living.

What your money can buy

could give one household handwashing facilities to help them practise good hygiene and prevent the spread of disease

could give one person access to safe and clean drinking water from a community water point

A bit of background

Access to safe drinking water is a struggle for many communities living in the coastal areas of Bangladesh, where flooding is extremely common. Three of the world's most powerful rivers pass through the country and much of the land is close to sea level. When natural disasters occur, water supplies are at greater risk of being contaminated by saltwater and sanitation facilities face being damaged and made unusable. This affects poor people hardest, because they tend to live on low lying land and have nowhere to go when flooding happens. Women bear the brunt of these water crises, as they must travel long distances to collect safe drinking water, which leaves little time to earn a living and poses risks to their health and wellbeing, especially during pregnancy. Floods also damage the toilets, meaning that people are forced to defecate in the open which increases the spread of disease.  Adolescent girls and women are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of functioning toilets, as both their health and safety are put at risk, particularly during menstruation

How we’re helping

We have already built 143 new toilets in households, serving 853 people, 41 of which have ramps to enable easy access for people with disabilities. We have also distributed 1,780 handwashing devices which are helping people practise safer hygiene.

This project aims to improve access to water and sanitation facilities by constructing 13 boreholes, and training caretakers to maintain them. Furthermore, it aims to build 180 new toilets (support communities to build their own), as well as four blocks of bathing facilities.

The project includes provision to train 16 community and women's groups on water and hygiene issues, and support them to review their action plans. We also aim to provide business and financial training to 20 women, so they can set up water and sanitation-based enterprises, such as latrine material construction and a sanitary towel production unit. The project will also try to support 300 women to diversify their sources of income by providing training on skills, and providing start-up livestock for their farming businesses. We will establish links with local government, water and sanitation private companies and farming equipment suppliers, to encourage support and to open up business opportunities.

Look how far your money can go

However much you can afford, your donation will really change lives. Just ask the people we've already helped.

In Kohinoor's village of South Baragail in Sirajganj, women are expected to adhere to traditional practices, such as using rags and old clothes during menstruation, often at the expense of their health and hygiene. Many women are unaware of the benefits of using sanitary towels, while others cannot afford to buy them. Oxfam's project has been teaching women like Kohinoor to make sanitary towels using cotton, net and tape. The sanitary towels that they have learned how to prepare are hygienic, cheap and user-friendly, and the women are now sharing their new knowledge about menstrual hygiene practices with other women and adolescent girls in their community. Kohinoor says,

 I'm happy that people learn from me on menstrual hygiene management, which was unknown to me just a year ago.

This project will also be supporting Kohinoor and her peers with the necessary equipment and technical support to market sanitary towels in the community. This will not only give women in the village access to affordable sanitary towels, but will also create a sustainable source of income for Kohinoor and the other women leading the new sanitary towel production unit.

For every £1 you donate, we will allocate 10p of your donation to cover general support and running costs. There is a small chance that we will raise more money than is needed for this project. If this happens, we'll spend any additional funds on other Oxfam projects - wherever the need is greatest.