In collaboration with Lindex, WaterAid has trained Change Agents who have been active in various slums of Dhaka and have been advocating for hand, mask, and overall hygiene to fight COVID-19. They have raised awareness on a community level and have been inspiring good hygiene and behavior for a healthier lifestyle adoption and the usage of WASH facilities in the slums. The training (2018-2020) has resulted in community movement and zero COVID-19 cases in those slums.

Meet Mitu Akhter

Mitu Akhter is a Change agent working at at 1 no. Porabosti, Ward no. 11, Kallyanpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Meet Soniya Akhter

Soniya Akhter is a change agent and a community volunteer living in 12D, North Kalshi, Teker Bari, Mirpur 12, Dhaka, Bangladesh 

Meet Abu Hena Rumi

Abu Hena Rumi (14) is a change agent and a community volunteer. She is studying her lessons at her home, Kalabagan E block slum, Bauniyabadh, Kalshi, Mirpur 11, Dhaka, Bangladesh at 7th September 2020.

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The 14 year- old- girl, Abu Hena Rumi is one of the youngest change agents and an entrepreneur under the project titled ‘Addressing the WASH crisis in Mirpur.’ The project is funded and supported jointly by WaterAid Bangladesh and Lindex. The teenage girl lives with her parents in a slum in Kalabagan, Bauniyabadh, Kalshi, Mirpur 11, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Last year, she was selected as the change agent by the local community mobiliser and received training on improving water, sanitation and hygiene measures in her community. The knowledge and skills she acquired through training made her into practice. To live a healthy life, Rumi started giving lessons to her mother about the necessity of hygiene measures in the household. She strives to teach WASH behaviours in her community. The teenage girl went door-to-door to promote hygienic behaviour in her slum and approached to her relatives and friends about the necessity of clean water, decent toilet and good hygiene facilities. Rumi started selling sanitary pads to girls in her community to ensure availability and promote menstrual health and hygiene.

Project Impact

The Lindex project has brough about a paradigm shift amidst COVID-19 in the slums of Dhaka

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Since the coronavirus outbreak began, the community members started using the soapy water. They have been raising awareness on the safety measures with some simple rules like wearing masks, washing hands and keeping physical distance in public places. Through the project contactless handwashing devices are installed which operates by foot by reducing the human hand touch.

Now everyone around the community practices handwashing and maintain personal hygiene to fight the pandemic. They also have been practicing the WASH activities in our area since the project interventions – it was not much difficult for them to understand the significance of wearing a mask, handwashing with soapy water, or disinfecting our households and public spaces. 

The girls in the community can now dispose of their sanitary napkins in the dustbin that is placed in the toilet. Rumi and her friends can maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness for the running water provided in the toilet. The girls in her community can finally heave a sigh of relief now that a clean washroom is available for everyone.