There’s an overwhelming tendency to take water for granted. Few understand what water means for their health, well-being, and the proper functioning of industries such as the food industry, energy, or in wastewater management. In Bangladesh, SNV and the House of Volunteers (HoV) are engaging young people to change this narrative.
In Bangladesh, the youth make up a third of the country’s population. They have a notable role to play in correcting the poor valuation of water, elevating its importance for people and societies to flourish. As a first step to enable young people’s contributions to the proper valuation of water, SNV partnered with the House of Volunteers (HoV) in Bangladesh in an awareness raising campaign.
The awareness raising campaign was successful in creating a buzz among the youth. Over 100 young people in Bangladesh submitted original works visualising the value of water to them.
About the campaign
Three competitions – essay writing, painting, and photography – marked the start of the awareness campaign. The campaign engaged the youth to illustrate the diverse benefits of water in people’s lives (economic, social, and ecological), and the risks associated with these. SNV and HoV partnered with youth groups to widely disseminate the campaign’s call for participation and support in its execution. A dedicated team of HoV volunteer member students from Dhaka University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology Chapters steered the campaign. The awareness raising campaign was concluded by social media actions using the hashtag #Water2Me.
Results of the campaign
Memory with water paintings: Twenty-four original paintings by students were received. Each painting was thought-provoking. Each portrayed concerns about water and why water is necessary to achieve equitable and inclusive development.
The choice between safe and polluted water is in your hands (Artwork by Sadia Rashid Eshika for SNV and HoV)
Water is life: the art of fishing (Photo by Ismail for SNV and HoV)
An essay exercise - Youth's role in achieving SDG6 goals: Twelve excellent essays were received by the campaign’s organisers. All young writers opined about the interdependencies between young people and achieving SDG 6. The essays narrated their thoughts about valuing water and the need to protect this vital resource better.
Life with water photos: A photo can say more than a thousand words. Eighty-four young photographers submitted 200 amazing photographs, all of which meaningfully depicted the intrinsic value of water and its essential role in all aspects of life.
‘Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives.’ What does groundwater mean to young people? To provide a platform for young people to express their thoughts on the intrinsic value of groundwater, SNV and HoV will partner once again for World Water Day 2022.
Tune in to learn how young people perceive and value groundwater. Follow the SNV Bangladesh Facebook page or the SNV WASH Twitter account for more announcements and information on the exhibition.
We hope to see you there!
Author: Plaban Gongopaddhay, Communications and Knowledge Management Advisor, SNV in Bangladesh
Banner photo: Where the waters meet the roadside (by Tahsinul Haque for SNV and HOV in Bangladesh)
 All photos were compiled for the occasion of World Water Day 2021 by HOV and SNV in Bangladesh. The competition was financed by SNV's WASH SDG and CWISE urban sanitation programmes.
 For more information, contact Plaban by email.