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 Popy 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, Popy is solely responsible for finding and collecting water each day. Access to safe water is not an option for her village. She shared concerns about how the government has not yet developed a water or sewage system for the community. Thus, women like Popy 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 Popy's situation when DSK, a local partner of Water.org, began work in her village. DSK conducted hygiene and water education classes. Popy took an interest in the program. She learned about Water.org's WaterCredit through the program and felt it was a reasonable solution to her water issues. Shortly after learning about the micro-loans, Popy and her husband took out a loan and installed a submersible pump at home.
Now she is thrilled to have water just outside her door. As would be the case for many women in this region, Popy explained how relieved she is that she doesn't have to spend her time collecting dirty 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.