© Helvetas/K M Asad

More resilient communities

© Helvetas/K M Asad

Cyclones, floods, salinity intrusion, and riverbank erosion are severely affecting the livelihoods of poor households throughout the country. Helvetas is working along the coastal belts of the south-western parts of Bangladesh to build resilience and reduce the well-being loss of climate change-affected disadvantaged communities, particularly vulnerable women and youth.

  • Project Name
    Panii Jibon: Water is Life
  • Project Phase
    2021 to 2023
  • Funding
    CJRF,Donations, contributions, SDC programme contribution
  • Thematic focus
    WASH Services

The Southwest coastal region of Bangladesh is one of the country’s most disaster-prone areas, experiencing both slow and sudden-onset disasters. High vulnerability to climate change and human-made shocks and stresses leads to loss and damage of productive assets, crops, livestock, and infrastructure and contributes to water and food insecurity, and poverty. Lack of absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacity to effectively respond ends up in displacements.

The Panii Jibon (“water is life") project supports climate-vulnerable communities, service providers and governmental institutions, to adapt and transform their capacities in food production and water management. It promotes the adoption of innovative technologies such as solar operated pond sand filter (PSF), rainwater harvesting tanks and river osmosis  to ensure water rights and foster resilient livelihoods through strong market linkages.Climate change impacts are forcing an increasing number of people to migrate, therefore Helvetas supports safer migration and promotes a smart use of remittances as an adaptation strategy to diversify household income.Panii Jibon also empowers civil societies to advocate for accountable allocation of public resources to climate-resilient actions.

© Helvetas/K M Asad
Marginal Women farmer working in her field, Samaddarkhali © Helvetas/K M Asad
© Helvetas/K M Asad
Gitamoni Mondal (left) working with the local service provider (LSP) Swapan Kumar Biswas at her vegetable garden in Dewatola Village, Morrelganj. LSP are supporting small farmers with advice and products © Helvetas/K M Asad
© Helvetas/Kamaruzzaman Khan
Water logging in Koyra upazila © Helvetas/Kamaruzzaman Khan

In previous phases (Phase-I: 2015-2017 and Phase-II: 2018-2020), Panii Jibon has  worked to improve water security and livelihoods, promote safe migration and strengthen local governance structures. More than 100,000 people, particularly vulnerable women, and youths have increased their nutrition and food security, developed new skills, and improved their income through homestead gardening, fish farming, livestock, poultry. The project enhanced locally-led adaptation by ensuring community engagement and  strengthening the accountability of local authorities and their capacity to deliver climate  resilient services.

After the successful completion of two phases, Panii Jibon has initiated its third phase (2021-2023).

Whereas Phase 1 focused on innovation (learn about climate justice, trying out new technologies and community strategies) and Phase 2 on demonstration (what works and what does not, further develop effective strategies), Phase 3 is now focusing on advocacy and replication. Valuing the past experiences and apprising the successes on the ground can move all initiatives aligned with climate resilience forward for rolling out and scaling up.

© Helvetas/K M Asad
Access to clean drinking  water from solar operated pond sand filter-A successful advocacy  by Mother’s Parliament in Samaddar Khali,Jewdhara Union. © Helvetas/K M Asad
© Helvetas/K M Asad
Deputy Speaker of Mother's Parliament in discussion with UP Vice Chairman © Helvetas/K M Asad
© Helvetas/Md Azizul Hoque
Seasonal Migration © Helvetas/Md Azizul Hoque

Pani Jibon is implemented together with Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP) and Shushilan in Paikgasa , Koyra, and Morrelganj Upazila of Khulna and Bagerhat district. International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) is strategic partner.

Climate & Disaster Resilience

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people in adapting to climate change, reducing the risks of disasters, sustainably managing natural resources, and conserving nature.

How Helvetas Supports People in Bangladesh

Helvetas helps farmers in Bangladesh prepare for climate change and promotes political participation, especially among women.
© Helvetas

Multimedia Story: A Farmer’s Daughter Goes to College

Read about how the Chakma built up a tree nursery with Helvetas’ support and escaped from poverty.