When Thames Water began their Thames4Bangladesh campaign in 2011, their aim was ambitious: to raise £1 million to support our work globally, and a further £1 million to help us deliver clean water and safe toilets to four towns in Bangladesh.

By the time the campaign finished in 2015 they had raised £2.14 million, transforming the lives of over 50,000 people with clean water and over 53,000 with safe toilets, through a series of practical, sustainable projects in Bangladesh’s poorest and most marginalised communities.

Here are five reasons why we think the project was such an incredible success:

1.Making connections

As in every one of our projects, collaborative working was critical to making change happen. Together, Thames Water and WaterAid staff, local partners and residents were able to identify the unique challenges facing the four towns – from walking long distances to collect unsafe water to children falling ill with diarrhoea and missing school as a result – and develop long-term solutions.

Thames Water’s Lawrence Gosden and Harjeet Singh discuss plans with residents of Shakiphur.
Thames Water's Lawrence Gosden and Harjeet Singh discuss plans in Shakiphur.

2. Building better futures

Choosing the right technology for each community was critical, which is why our teams installed a range of water facilities ̶  from locally-managed hand pumps and rainwater harvesting systems to larger scale installations, like this water tower in the town of Shakiphur.

Construction of Shakiphur’s new water tower gets underway.
Construction of Shakiphur's new water tower gets under way.

3. Talking health and hygiene

Thames4Bangladesh empowered communities to develop their hygiene practices so they could make the most of their new facilities, by providing a series of educational sessions to local residents and training teachers to deliver hygiene messages in their schools.

Students at Shakhipur Model Primary School, just two of the young people Thames4Bangladesh reached with life-changing hygiene messages.
Students at Shakhipur Model Primary School, just two of the young people Thames4Bangladesh reached with life-changing hygiene messages.

4.Going the extra mile

When it came to hitting their £2 million target, Thames Water staff were ready to go the extra mile. From running marathons to jumping out of planes and hopping on one foot around the office, no idea was too wacky or too wild! Their incredible support even gained royal recognition from HRH the Prince of Wales, who met Thames Water’s most committed fundraisers during his visit to Abbey Mills pumping station in Stratford.

Thames Water staff in costume at the Big Fat Cheesy Quiz
Thames Water staff get into costume to raise money for Thames4Bangladesh.

5. Having a very special star supporter

We couldn't share the success of Thames4Bangladesh without giving a special mention to Humphrey the Camel and his memorable appearance at Thames Water's 18th annual raft race, which raised over £30,000 for the campaign!

Thames Water's Humphrey the Camel
Thames Water's star supporter, Humphrey the Camel.

Delivering lasting change

The Thames4Bangladesh campaign may have come to an end, but for the communities we’ve reached, a whole new way of life is just beginning.

Collecting water in Kalaroa, Bangladesh.

A clean start in Kalaroa

There were big celebrations in Kalaroa when the town's new water plant opened. It provides safe water to more than 3,000 residents, who previously had to drink contaminated water or pay inflated rates from private vendors.

Abid, Bangladesh.

Abid's new toilet

Through Thames4Bangladesh, 6,000 toilets were installed in homes, schools and public areas. For Abid and his family in Shakiphur, that means a safe, private place to go to the toilet for the very first time.

Sweety, Bangladesh.

Piped water in Paikgacha

Paikgacha's piped water supply was installed in partnership with the local municipality. It provides clean water to some of the town's poorest households, including Sweety's, with over 500 homes connected in the first year.