They Will Not Know the Water Crisis

"I am happy that my children will not know the water crisis like I did before." Grateful words from a mother who sought a solution for her family's safe water needs. Read Poppy Begum's story.

In Savar, Bangladesh many opportunities keep the more than 320 villages active and bustling; schools, mosques, factories, and markets. However, for the 1.4 million who call it home, contributions to the community's growth and participation in the opportunities are easily distracted by the lack of access to safe water.

Meet Poppy Begum, a 28 year old wife and mother. Her husband is a tea vendor and she manages their home in Savar. Because her husband must work at the market to provide for the family, Poppy is solely responsible for finding and collecting water each day. Access to safe water is not an option in her village. She shared concerns about how the government has not yet developed a water or sewage system for the community. Thus, women like Poppy usually source water from a pond or river. She found a relative who, for a short time, allowed her to use his well. However she hated to depend on another's generosity to care for her own family, especially when he started to treat her rudely for using his water. This led her back to a local pond to collect water for drinking, bathing and washing clothes.

Relief came to Poppy's situation when DSK, a local partner of, began work in her village. DSK conducted hygiene and water education classes. Poppy took an interest in the program. She learned about's WaterCredit through the program and felt it was a reasonable solution to her water issues. Shortly after learning about the micro-loans, Poppy and her husband took out a loan and installed a submersible pump at home.

Now she is pleased to have water just outside her door. As would be the case for many women in this region, Poppy explained how relieved she is that she doesn't have to spend her time collecting unsafe water. She has more time to do the household chores, care for her children, and embrace the opportunities that await them in life. With sincere gratitude she said, "I am happy that my children will not know the water crisis like I did before."

This story was made possible by a generous grant from Johnson & Johnson.

Capital city: Dhaka
Population of 166 million
27.9 million lack safe water
74.8 million do not have improved sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of 4.5%
31.5% live in poverty provides innovative, market-based solutions that change lives every day through safe water and sanitation.

Get the Newsletter