Bangladesh is a country of rice paddies, dense populations, thousands of ponds and lakes, and annual monsoons that flood its mighty rivers.
Imram Hossain leads a swimming class in Monohardi, Bangladesh. This is one of 550 low-cast swim centers established across Bangladesh to lower the incidence of drowning, the country's leading cause of death among children.
Worker soaking jute stems in river stream to prepare for extraction of fiber. The Ganges River delta in Bangladesh is the world's largest source of jute, second only to cotton among natural fibers.
Boys swimming in a pond near Monohardi in northeast Bangladesh. Unsupervised access to water is a major factor in Bangladesh's high rate of death by drowning (17,000 deaths of children each year).
Swim students headed to instruction center in Monohardi, Bangladesh. The structures are built at a cost of $80 each, with an underwater bamboo platform and fencing to mark off the instruction area.
First group of students prepares for class at swim-instruction center in Monohardi, Bangladesh.
Instructor Imram Hossain lifts students into water at start of class, in a pond near Monohardi in northeast Bangladesh.
Instructor Imran Hossain (who operates a confectionery store when he's not in the pond) uses a kick-board in his swim lessons for children in Monohardi, Bangladesh.
Bamboo enclosures and an underwater platform give children a safe environment in which to learn to swim. This swim center, in Monohardi, is one of the 550 across Bangladesh that have been built by the Center for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB).
Bangladesh's swim-instruction program is also offered to children in Dhaka, the country's capital city.
Children line up for a dance at a child development center in Monohardi, Bangladesh. The centers are a community based initiative aimed at preventing accidental drownings by insuring that young children are in supervised environments.
Children attending one of the child-development centers in Monohardi, Bangladesh.
Saidur Mashreky, an epidemiologist for the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), supervises a pilot program of swim instruction and childcare across Bangladesh.
Children wash hands at a child development center in Monohardi, Bangladesh. The centers are called "anchals," from the end piece of a sari mothers use to cover and carry their children.
In Bangladesh drowning is a leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 17. A pilot program aims to reduce that toll by teaching children to swim.