The “Before” Situation
Located in a region with high land and a low water table, the water crisis in Kalma Union, Bangladesh, was severe. People living in Kalma Union are living in poverty and had very limited water options.
Each day, women and children walked to distant tube wells to collect water for drinking. They used water from a polluted pond nearby for household purposes, such as cleaning, washing, bathing and cooking.
The sanitation situation was no better. In the absence of latrines, most people were forced to use open spaces. Lack of hygiene knowledge exacerbated the situation. Because of this unhygienic environment, people living in Kalma Union suffered from water-related disease year-round.
Because of Your Support
Today, the situation for the people of Kalma Union is changing dramatically, thanks to a safe water and sanitation project made possible by your donations to Water.org.
Water.org’s local partner organization, Village Education Resource Center (VERC), worked with the people of Kalma Union to improve their water and sanitation situation through community mobilization, education, and behavior-change activities. As a first step, VERC interviewed members of 882 households in nine villages of Kalma Union to identify the water and sanitation-related problems and how best to address the situation. As part of the information-gathering process, VERC worked with the community to develop a seasonal disease calendar and to draw social maps of the villages identifying sanitation danger zones.
To help achieve the hygiene education goals, community groups were established. Water and sanitation committees were formed, and representatives were voted onto the committee by fellow community members. Children’s groups were also created, and more than 1,230 children joined!
At the children’s meetings, VERC staff talked about proper hygiene and how to bring those good practices home. Children were encouraged to share the information with their parents. Health campaigns and school sessions conducted in the villages also helped to get the word out.