Why is clean water important?
In Bangladesh, there is a proverb about water: “The other name for water is life.”
Habitat Bangladesh’s focus on water and sanitation meant building three new deep-tube wells, each with a raised base and safe water collection points, constructed a lockable bath house to provide privacy for women and girls. A community committee on water, sanitation and hygiene was formed, and members were trained on management and finances.
Working with families, Habitat Bangladeshalso built 127 sanitary latrines housed in brick sub-structures with raised bases in order to keep the flooring above flood level. Each latrine included a rainwater harvesting and reservoir system for handwashing. And 300 adults and 150 children got comprehensive training on water, sanitation and hygiene.All of community people, from children to the elderly, now live healthier lives. Rates of illnesses due to waterborne diseases have dropped dramatically. People now spend less money on health care and more on home improvements.
Similarly, in Talab camp in the capital of Dhaka, Habitat has worked with the community to install wells and offer water filters for home use. Some 3,000 people have received training in water, sanitation and waste management. “Everyone is feeling good and happy that something has been done for the community,” says Shabana, a mother of four, who also has been able to replace her home’s old mud floor with a healthier cement floor with Habitat’s help.
One elderly man, Sibpada, stepped forward and — with tears streaming from his eyes — spoke on behalf of everyone.
“The whole community is thankful to Habitat because they helped us beyond our expectations,” he said. “We bow our heads to show our gratitude. Today, every family uses clean toilets and drinks safe water. I am very happy to see these changes.”