The RNLI has launched a Creches for Bangladesh appeal that aims to tackle the childhood drowning epidemic in Bangladesh, which claims the lives of 40 children every day. Bangladesh has a drowning rate five times higher than other low- and middle-income countries. Surrounded by 700 rivers and around 5,000 miles of inland waterways, children are always only steps away from danger, especially the very young, who are at most risk between 9am and 1pm when parents are busy working and undertaking essential chores.
In Bangladesh, there is a lack of childcare infrastructure and it’s not within the reach of many families; however access to a creche space reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 82%.
The RNLI’s campaign aims to help provide free community-led day care centres. This will ensure a secure place for children to play and learn while being protected from the risks of drowning.
Kate Eardley, Head of International Advocacy at the RNLI says: “Drowning is a silent epidemic that urgently needs to be addressed. It’s not right that 40 children drown every day in Bangladesh when simple, low-cost solutions are available to prevent this. And it’s the youngest children who face the highest risk, unable to swim but surrounded by ponds and water-filled ditches. A donation of just £2.50 could pay for a whole month of day care for one child. And all donations made before 30 April 2019 will be doubled by the UK government.”