[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Eti lives in a slum neighborhood in Dhaka, Bangladesh with her husband and three children. Like millions living in slum settlements, they migrated from a rural area looking for work in the city. She works in a garment factory and he drives a taxi. Together, they earn $75 per month. They can’t afford proper housing, so they rent a makeshift room–a 10′ x 10′ hut–with no water connection or toilets.
[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_custom_heading text=”Before Eti’s water and toilet project, life was incredibly stressful. ” font_container=”tag:p|font_size:16|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Each day began with the challenge of finding enough water for her family’s survival. Eti relied on water vendors who had inconsistent supplies and charged exorbitant rates. Running from vendor to vendor, she worried that she’d be late for work. At the garment factories, there’s always someone in line ready to take your job.
Without proper toilets, human waste stagnated in open drains and ditches. Non-functioning toilets at the local school sometimes overflowed into classrooms.
A nearby river is polluted with industrial and human waste. When desperate, Eti and her neighbors turned to the river for bathing, laundry, and dish washing.
In this environment swimming in infectious disease, Eti’s children were frequently ill. In the dry season, 500 patients are admitted to the local hospital each day to treat diarrhea. A significant portion of Eti’s hard-earned income was spent on medicine to treat water and sanitation-related illnesses.
She hoped her children could be educated, but spending so much for water and medicine meant she couldn’t afford the minimal school fees. Eti’s family was trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty.
[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_custom_heading text=”Thanks to your support, Eti’s life is very different today. ” font_container=”tag:p|font_size:16|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Her slum community recently completed the construction of water systems and toilets in her neighborhood and at the local school. She and her neighbors now have ample supplies of clean water for drinking, bathing, cooking, laundry, and hand washing. And they have private, sanitary toilets. They are healthier. Their environment is cleaner and odor-free. They are living with dignity.
Eti and her husband are able to save money now. What they previously spent treating illnesses is being redirected to other needs, like school fees, books, and uniforms. Eti’s dream is coming true—her children are being educated, enabling them to pursue opportunities she and her husband never had.
Eti, pictured below, serves on the committee that coordinates the water and sanitation program in her neighborhood. She and her community were trained in the operation and maintenance of their project.
Training people like Eti is key to our success. They have full ownership of their project. This is why Water1st projects last. Communities are self sufficient and empowered.
Now organized, they have the structure in place to tackle their next set of priorities. Eti and her neighbors decided they wanted a cleaner living environment—they organized trash collection service and successfully lobbied the government to build concrete walkways in place of muddy foot paths. Together, they are moving out of extreme poverty.
Thank you for supporting Eti and her community by investing in effective solutions to their most pressing needs.
Thanks to Water1st supporters, we have completed 1,426 projects in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Honduras, and India—transforming the lives of 134,632 people. The impact is enormous. Clean water and toilet projects break the cycle of extreme poverty—and your generosity is making this solution a reality.