Environment and climate change research

In 2008, CIPRB conducted a research study of the SwimSafe programme to ensure it complies with the social and environmental conditions of Bangladesh and to develop a set of guidelines to improve the implementation and the scaling up of the programme.

The initial findings showed that parents living in rural areas who are literate discouraged their children from swimming, which leaves them with skills comparable to children of poorer families. This disparity is also found among girls when compared to boys whose families are economically better off.

People, irrespective of their socioeconomic position place more emphasis on schooling and textbook based education. They liken swimming training to a game and therefore consider it a low-priority for their children. Besides the other socioeconomic restrictions, there are also environmental hurdles to overcome such as the reduction in the number of available ponds due to fish cultivation. In addition, during summer months there is a lack of water in these existing ponds.

To combat the risks associated with climate change, it is imperative to include lifesaving skills, such as the SwimSafe program, in the primary and secondary education system of Bangladesh. In addition, community and policymakers need to preserve open spaces and water bodies, and carry out campaigns on the importance of such programmes.