The Water & Sanitation Crisis
Clean water is a huge concern in Bangladesh, where a substantial portion of the population lack access to improved water sources, or to education about the dangers of unfiltered or contaminated water. Access to sanitation is also a major issue – 28 million people in Bangladesh lack access to clean water, and 66 million lack access to sanitation.
Waterborne diseases are responsible for 24% of all deaths in Bangladesh, and leads to the death of over 100,000 children every year. On average, over 250 children die every day from a lack of clean water.
There are also social problems connected to the lack of water and sanitation in Bangladesh. Limited water and sanitation resources in slums leads to far too many people sharing one well or latrine, which can strain relationships and create disputes between neighbors over access. Women in poor or remote communities frequently have to walk for miles to collect clean water for drinking and cooking, and the path to a distant well is often dangerous. Moreover, waterborne diseases are more common among young children, the population most likely to touch contaminated water or feces without washing their hands – and when children become ill, their parents may not be able to afford treatment, and thus they miss days of school.
Brighter Dawns seeks to address this situation in Ward 12, one of the most densely populated slums in Khalishpur, Khulna. There are approximately 60,000 people living in a total of 12,000 households in the slum areas of Ward 12, which include at least 18 slum neighborhoods and 4 refugee camps. Like many other slums, the communities of Ward 12 have had NGOs build wells and latrines that soon fell into disrepair due to lack of maintenance. To resolve this issue, we will target wells and latrines for repair and long term maintenance solutions, before conducting additional needs assessments to build more facilities as needed.