RMG has been the fastest growing sector in Bangladesh’s economy. The rapid rise of the sector resulted in a great number of workers from rural and urban areas to shift near the factories & live in clusters. This unplanned and rapid pace of localization has caused RMG workers sacrificing some of the basic needs such as running water, sanitation & safe water. A research conducted by OXFAM has revealed that more than three quarter of the readymade garments workers don’t have the basic facility of running water in their household. The lack of coverage ensured government agencies is monetized by informal and local suppliers, who charge a hefty amount for a low quality service. This inadequate supply of safe water has been a key contributor to the worker’s poor health.
The project ‘’Shujola’’ was initiated by Swisscontact, funded by JTI & implemented by enroute was focused on elevating local water entrepreneurship to a sustainable stage by promoting the importance of safe water for consumption for readymade garments workers.
The project ensured ready-made garments workers and their community’s access to safe water at low cost from “water kiosks” that are run by local entrepreneurs. As a result, local entrepreneurs were more able to create a sustainable business ecosystem and RMG workers got the access to safe usable water. In collaboration with Drinkwell & FloWater Solutions this campaign was made possible to succeed.
As a part of the project, we had the privilege to raise awareness and demand generation activities among low-income people in RMG communities in Dhaka, Chittagong, Gazipur & Savar with our 5-month long campaign facilitating the activities such as Courtyard Sessions, Branding (Leaflets, posters, stickers), D2D engagement and so on. With our activities, we have reached over 3,400 homes, branded 850 shops, and sold 1150 water atm (automatic teller machine) cards.
As a successful outcome of this project, 40 low income people were employed by the entrepreneurs, 100,000 liters of water supplied to RMG workers’ residential community members and institutional clients, 5 local entrepreneurs were trained to set up and operate water kiosks, 10,000 RMG workers’ residential community members were reached through awareness raising campaigns. This project has been a great success in terms of promoting local entrepreneurship, awareness in mass people, reaching beneficiaries & all the other fonts.