In 2018, with the aid of CIPRB and one of their trustees, Becky Horsbrugh, the Sreepur Village started to run swimming lessons in their pond on the village grounds. The lessons, since this date, take place every year during the months of June and July and are now taught by a number of Sreepur staff who have since been trained to facilitate the programme each year.
Approximately sixty children, aged 6-12, take part each year. They will learn how to swim 25 metres freestyle, tread water or float for 30 seconds as well as perform a rescue from dry land. As half the number of deaths from drowning occur in 1-5-year-olds, having an older child trained in dry-land rescue is pivotal in striving to keep this devestating number down.
Bangladesh is a country notorious for its water hazards and most villages will have at least one exposed pond, furthermore, there are rivers and ditches and let’s not forget the sea.
During monsoon season, which has already begun, flooding can be a real danger – another factor in the high mortality rate of death by drowning. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of child mortality and over 15,000 children lose their lives to the water every single year.
Sreepur Village (Shishu Polli Plus) is situated in one of the highest land areas of Bangladesh which creates difficulties in the water level of the pond for swimming lessons.
Rainwater is simply not enough.
So where is the water sourced from?
The pump used for Sreepur’s safe drinking water is situated a long distance away from the swimming pond. Since 2018, water from the drinking pump has been pumped into the pond to accommodate the correct levels for the swimming lessons.
A vast amount of water is needed for the swimming pond, this can put huge pressure on the pump used for drinking water, which is also used all year round to water the ponds for fish culture. So, since the onset of their SwimSafe programme, the Sreepur Village has been challenged to find a resourceful way of keeping the swimming water levels high.
How Can You Help?
If in the future, they could implement a semi-deep water pump adjacent to the swimming pond it would reduce the pressure on the drinking water pump and would facilitate a flow of water into the swimming pond. Then once the swimming lessons have finished, this pump could be used for the fish ponds.
How Much Does a Pump Cost?
A pump costs £2,500. Sreepur Village has already received a number of generous donations including £1,100 which Becky Horsbrugh raised through her Swimming Appeal on her JustGiving Page.
Sreepur Village really does appreciate all the donations they receive throughout the year, especially given how many worthy charities and people throughout the world are in need of help, care and support.
Sreepur Swimsafe Appeal is important because it can make a real difference in the lives of children and if by teaching a child to swim saves another child from drowning, Sreepur Village are closer to reducing the number of deaths from drowning every year.
If you would like to donate to Sreepur’s 2022 SwimSafe Appeal then please visit: https://www.sreepurvillage.org/pages/donate.