A MILNGAVIE woman visited Bangladesh recently to see for herself how the money she and other staff raise at Scottish Water transforms lives.
Alison Fettes (41), who is treasury, tax and insurance manager at Scottish Water at Balmore Road near Milngavie, was chosen to represent the company on the week-long trip to the country along with fundraisers from 11 other water companies.
She was taken to see the international charity WaterAid’s projects to improve access to safe water and sanitation in Bangladesh’s low-lying lands between India and Burma.
The area is subject to annual monsoon floods that are likely to worsen due to climate change.
Many people in this densely populated country lack access to sanitation, drinking water is often contaminated and diseases are common.
In overcrowded slums, millions live in appalling sanitary conditions and are denied access to water supplies.
Alison, who is also treasurer of Scottish Water’s WaterAid fund-raising committee, went to the community of Molla’r Bostee slum in Dhaka, the country’s capital city, which does not have access to safe water and sanitation, to find out what life is like without these basic necessities.
She said: “I saw people living in conditions I could only have imagined before the trip.
“But I also witnessed the transformation when they received safe water and sanitation in their communities.
“The positive impact on the lives of people we met reminded me that for a relatively small amount of money a massive change in health, lifestyle and optimism can be achieved through the provision of safe water and sanitation. I want to use my experiences to encourage even more people at Scottish Water to get involved and raised funds for this vital cause.”
She also went to the city of Khulna, to see how improved water and sanitation facilities can empower communities, and in the climate change affected Satkhira region she found out how the charity is helping the community of Siltara Mondalpara build a disaster resilient pond to protect their water supply from saltwater floods.
WaterAid’s development manager Nikki Skipper, said: “We were able show Alison how the hard work and generosity of Scottish Water’s fundraisers has helped some of the world’s poorest people, bringing safe water, santitation and improved hygiene to their communities.
“We’d like to thank her and everyone at Scottish Water for their support.”
To find out more about the group’s experiences on the trip go to www.wateraid.org/watrip.