SwimSafe (Bangladesh)

A man wearing Speedo goggles

Drowning is often hailed as ‘a silent emergency’ and there are few countries in the world where the problem is more acute than in Bangladesh, where over 46 children die in water every day – totalling more than 17,000 every year.

A man swimming and wearing Speedo goggles

As with the majority of instances of drowning, lack of access to quality swimming lessons is one of the main reasons why this death total is so high.

Throughout Bangladesh children learn to swim in the ponds with the help of their friends, often simply teaching themselves to stay afloat. However, this is no substitute for learning under the supervision of a trained instructor through a structured course.

It goes without saying that 17,000 deaths each year is far too high a number. That’s why, through Swim Generation, we’re proud to be working with The Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), a world leading injury prevention organisation that saves lives by delivering quality programmes to combat all causes of avoidable death, including drowning.

Speedo’s support of CIPRB began in 2016, focusing on disadvantaged communities in an urban area of Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka and rural areas in three unions in the Raiganj Upazila sub-district; Brahmagachha, Chandaikona, Dhangara.

While ensuring that more than 4,000 young people now have the skills they need to swim safely, it’s clear that a lot more needs to be done in order to overcome the ‘silent emergency’ in Bangladesh. Through our continued commitment to our partnership with CIPRB, we’re passionate about helping to ensure that no child in Bangladesh is left to teach themselves to swim in future.

Drowning facts for Bangladesh*:

Drowning is the leading cause of death in children in Bangladesh, and claims the lives of approximately 46 children per day.

There are 17,000 annual deaths by drowning in children under 18 years old

The highest rates of fatal drowning are found in the 1-4 year age group, when children start to walk and venture away from supervision.

Project achievements in 2016:-

Safety: 4,451 more children safe

Livelihoods: 30 Community Swimming Instructors and 1 fundraising officer

To find out more about SwimSafe and CIPRB visit:

*Source: Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey (BHIS) 2016



Writer and expert