Over 334 million people in India do not have access to potable water: wells have either gone dry or the water is extremely contaminated. It can often take hours to walk back and forth from a clean water source, decreasing a child’s school time or a woman’s opportunity to earn extra income.
Water contamination is another big problem. Water in many parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is often excessively high in fluoride. Excessive fluoride leads to a variety of health complications, including ‘fluorosis’, a disease that can result in teeth decay, joint pains, crippled bones, gastrointestinal and pregnancy problems.
Over 600 million Indians do not have toilets and are forced to defecate in the open. Negative health impacts include diarrhea, intestinal infections, malaria and Dengue fever. Social issues include security and privacy concerns for women and children.
HOW WE ARE HELPING
The bore well program aims to make water accessible to rural families who would otherwise have to walk punishingly long distances to collect water. The program is designed for communities of about 100-200 people, or around 40 families. Read More
The bore well program aims to make water accessible to rural families who would otherwise have to walk punishingly long distances to collect water. The program is designed for communities of about 100-200 people. Once financing has been secured for the well, Bala Vikasa hires local area engineers to construct it. The wells are placed in an easily accessible area so that the maximum number of people may access it. Tubes are drilled directly into the ground, to depths reaching 150-200 feet, with casing pipes installed to the depth of 40 feet. This depth guarantees lasting water resources – many of our bore wells are still functioning efficiently after 25 years. Quality hand pumps ensure it is easy for people to draw water manually from the well. A 4-ft diameter cement platform is built around every bore well to channel wastewater and keep the immediate surroundings clean. Positive social impacts of this program include a more peaceful atmosphere arising from less water-related disputes, less time taken to collect water leaving women and children free to pursue education and livelihood activities, and better hygiene in the village. Read Less
The water in and around Andhra Pradesh and Telangana contains dangerously high levels of fluoride, which causes a debilitating disease known as fluorosis. The Water Purification Program has facilitated a safe water revolution that directly engages communities in the project management process while providing the poorest with a new system to help improve their drinking water. Read More
The water in and around Andhra Pradesh and Telangana contains dangerously high levels of fluoride, which causes a debilitating disease known as fluorosis. The Water Purification Program facilitated a safe water revolution that directly engages communities in the project management process while providing the poorest with a new system to help improve their drinking water.Villagers must undergo an application process to prove they are ready to acquire a purification system. Once accepted, Bala Vikasa conducts motivation meetings to ensure at least 80% of the community’s participation. A Water Committee is formed of elected women and men who are trained in project planning, implementation and management. The community is required to provide a water source, a room for the purification system and cash contributions, which amounts to about 60% of the total project cost. Since the water purification systems are owned and run by the communities, the cost of upkeep is low. Long-term sustainability is ensured and the entire village is provided with safe and affordable drinking water at just Rs. 2-3 for 20 liters.The construction of a purification system uses “Reverse Osmosis” technology to remove excess fluoride and other unwanted impurities (such as chlorine, lead, and sodium) from the water. All water purification plants installed are fitted with Any Time Water technology, which, through a system of prepaid cards, ensures access to water 24-7 and ensures transparency in record keeping/accounting processes. The Water Purification Program has visible health impacts on villagers within two months of installation, and empowers the village community, who feel tangible ownership of the project and its successes. Bala Vikasa encourages the Water Committees to take up other development activities in their villages. Read Less
The installation of a purification system costs $4700.
Through the Women Program, rural women and youth learn about the ill effects of open defecation and how better sanitation systems enhance heath and hygiene. This motivates them to apply for a sanitation project. Read More
Through the Women Program, rural women and youth learn about the ill effects of open defecation and how better sanitation systems enhance heath and hygiene. This motivates them to apply for a sanitation project. Beneficiaries participate actively in project planning and contribute 50% of the cost of having their own family toilet. The other 50% is provided by Bala Vikasa, in the form of construction materials. Beneficiaries must construct the toilets themselves, creating a feeling of collective responsibility and ownership. Once the toilet has been built, we conduct awareness trainings on the importance of good hygiene and the proper use and maintenance of toilets. Benefits of the Sanitation Program include improved health and hygiene for families; improved family atmosphere and lifestyle; increased value for their house; and a better quality for life for all, especially for women, children, the elderly and the sick. Time is saved and security is better. People’s self-respect and dignity also increase. Most of these projects are initiated by members of our Women program, who enjoy recognition in their community. The Sanitation Program has a positive effect on the village environment as a whole. Read Less
OUR 360° COMMUNITY DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
The success of our water and sanitation projects lies in the active participation of villagers. Villagers who wish to receive a bore well, purification system or family toilet must first apply and commit to its upkeep and proper use. Cash and kind contributions are mandatory to create a sense of ownership. Democratically elected committees are trained in program management, which ensures sustainability. Community leaders are nurtured and trained, who continue to take on further development initiatives.