Water is the drop of life | World Water Day 2021

On World Water Day, we celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis.


Water is the drop of life: Halima’s story 

As violence in Myanmar grew, Halima, her two young children and her mother fled for their lives, arriving at a refugee camp in Bangladesh with nothing. 

Caritas Australia, through its partner, Caritas Bangladesh, helped Halima and her family to meet their basic needs in the camp. They enrolled Halima into a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program, where she learned about safe hygiene practices, sourcing clean drinking water, and how to keep her family clean and healthy in the camp. From there, she took on the role of community trainer, and became responsible for inspecting and organising the cleaning of washrooms, wells and toilets in her block.  

Halima is proud that she’s able to earn a small income from her training role, while also helping to maintain the cleanliness of the camp. 

Halima pumps fresh water near her shelter in a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo credit: Inmanuel Biswas/Caritas Bangladesh.

“My life has changed a lot after participating in the WASH program,” Halima says. “Before, my kids fell sick two or three times a month. Now I can keep my children clean, educate them and cover expenses for their needs. I can feed them balanced food and ensure our clothes are clean. I can afford a doctor and medicines for my mother.” 

Halima’s training became all the more invaluable as the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and in an environment where safe hygiene, sanitation and preventative health measures became life-saving. 

This year, World Water Day is focused on finding out what water means to different people around the world. For people like Halima, water often means the difference between life and death; poverty and prosperity.

Find out more about Halima’s story and how you can help bring clean water, hygiene and sanitation to the most remote and marginalised communities in the world here.