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Freshwater crisis intensifies

Waking up before dawn every day, Asma Khatun walks to a water plant five kilometres away to collect fresh drinking water for her 11-member family. It will be midday or even later before she returns home to her village in southwest Bangladesh’s Satkhira district, where all freshwater sources were destroyed after the devastating Cyclone Aila in 2009. Without the 10-kilometre trek through an uneven path to the plant near Ramjannagor Dighi where the pond water is treated, there will be no water for cooking and drinking. Though the walk itself takes two hours, the 25-year-old says she has to queue up for much of the day to get her turn at the tap.