Thirty-five-year-old Peyara Begum is a housewife who lives in the coastal region of Mongla with her husband and two disabled children. Every day, come rain or shine, Peyara had to walk an hour to fetch water for her family of four, leaving her children at home, unattended. But even that wouldn’t assure that she returned home with a full pitcher. Long queues and the unavailability of clean water supply meant that her family would regularly face the brunt of water borne diseases, leaving her anxious for the most basic necessity of life. Mongla, like most of the coastal areas of Bangladesh suffers from heightened salinity levels in water supply, rendering drinkable water a health hazard for inhabitants. Peyara, and many more, had no other choice but to drink this water. Resulting in long-term health complications.
SAJIDA’s Climate Change and Disaster Management (CCDM) initiative has setup Rainwater Harvesting Systems in coastal areas like Mongla, utilizing rainwater and storing it in tanks with 10,000 liters capacity each. Peyara and many more residents now have access to clean water for the first time in their lives. Peyara is also attending regular community meetings arranged by SAJIDA, where she is made aware of good hygiene practices and how Nature Based Solutions (NbS) can provide means of income for her growing family. “Long water walks and water borne diseases would regularly affect us. With the setup of the Rainwater Harvesting System close to my home, I do not have to worry about leaving my children alone and also provide them with clean water.” An elated Peyara begum added, “I am also planning to learn more about Nature based Solutions and explore possibilities of increasing our household income as well.”