In our latest episode, GITA ROY, from Bangladesh, helped to establish a water treatment plant in her village that makes saltwater safe to drink. The plant has had a positive impact on the village, providing people with access to safe drinking water and creating business opportunities for women. Click the play button to listen to the episode or read the highlights below.
The impact of climate change on safe water access
Climate change is causing unpredictable weather patterns, including flooding and droughts. These conditions are making it more difficult for many communities to access enough safe water. Particularly women and girls, who often bear the time-consuming responsibility of walking many kilometres to collect safe drinking water for their households.
Community-run water treatment plant
Gita Roy and a group of other women, with the help of WaterAid and Rupantar, played a leading role in the establishment of a water treatment plant in their village in Bangladesh that makes salt water safe to drink. The women worked hard to gain the necessary community agreement for the plant, and they are now responsible for its day-to-day operation and maintenance. Today the plant serves nine villages and has become increasingly profitable.The overall health of the community has improved and doctors are advising families to drink the water from the treatment plant to help prevent waterborne diseases.
Challenging gender inequality
The plant has not only improved community health, but it has also changed perceptions around the role of women in business and leadership within the community. As well as running the water treatment plant, some of the women have started other businesses and Gita Roy has been elected to a local council. Gita says, ‘Having my own identity, earning my own income, and not depending on anyone for my needs is very satisfying.'
Listen to why communities are increasingly moving from volunteer-based water management to business-based approaches HERE