When floods strike, water can quickly rise and trap adults and children alike. In these situations, basic survival skills are vital. Something as simple as the ability to swim can be the difference between life and death.
We’ve been working with children living in Saladivari Palen, a village on an island in the Gautami river. Dangerous floods are a regular problem.
Manju, 13, explains, "One time the water came up to my house and I was very scared. We all went upstairs. The water stayed for a week. I was frightened that my house would collapse into the water. That time my family was all safe but three years ago my grandfather drowned."
ActionAid has been working in Manju’s school teaching her and her friends how to swim, along with other skills like how to make floats out of rubbish and how to perform first aid.
These swimming lessons won’t win these children a sporting gold medal, but they will mean that when the next floods strike, they will be well prepared.
Manju says, "I learnt to swim last summer. My school is on the mainland but I am no longer frightened using the boat. What I have learnt is very useful for us when the floods come."
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