Project to provide people better access to 'safe water' & sanitation in 45 panchayats of Bengal

We will be giving access to water to 100 million people all over the world by 2030. Kataria said a need assessment study was conducted by WaterAid India in the identified villages in the three above-mentioned districts to understand the pressing challenges faced by families.This assessment will serve as a baseline to guide efforts and to be able to track change during this project.


PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 29-05-2022 16:29 IST | Created: 29-05-2022 16:29 IST
Project to provide people better access to 'safe water' & sanitation in 45 panchayats of Bengal
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To provide poor people in 45-gram panchayats in three districts of West Bengal better access to 'safe water' and sanitation, an NGO has partnered with an MNC to launch the 'Access to safe water project'.

WaterAid Director (Resource Mobilization and Communications) Vikas Kataria said that the project was aimed at giving more access to safe drinking water in households, reducing groundwater depletion through water conservation, and ensuring better hygiene and sanitation facilities in the respective areas.

Kataria told PTI Sunday the particular project was conceived in April 2020 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, fieldwork could take place since mid-2021 and is on full steam this year.

He said a team consisting of members of WaterAid and PepsiCo, including himself, visited the area last week and interacted with several villagers, local administration and panchayat officials.

The project was aimed at making clean water accessible in Hooghly, Bankura and Purba Bardhaman districts and ''come to the aid of around 200,000 people by mid-2024.'' A WaterAid India statement quoting Chief Executive V K Madhavan added, ''We wish to provide safe drinking water to every household. Apart from improving their health and quality of life, it will address the difficulties faced by women. Our partnership with PepsiCo Foundation can bring changes in the lives of families who are engaged as part of the supply chain of PepsiCo.'' To a question Kataria said, it only complements the ongoing drinking water, sanitization and rural development projects by the state and central governments.

''If it is successful and reaches the desired benefit to everyone with the support of local panchayats we will repeat the experiment in other parts of the state,'' he explained.

PepsiCo India President Ahmed ElSheikh was quoted as saying in the statement, ''We have entered into a partnership with WaterAid India to reach out safe water to poor farmer families. We will be giving access to water to 100 million people all over the world by 2030.'' Kataria said a need assessment study was conducted by WaterAid India in the identified villages in the three above-mentioned districts to understand the pressing challenges faced by families.

''This assessment will serve as a baseline to guide efforts and to be able to track change during this project. The findings from the baseline study further revealed that across all three districts, almost 58.8 per cent of people fetched water from far-off sources for their daily needs during lean and peak summer months and about 19.5 per cent of households had access to safe drinking water at home.

In terms of access to basic sanitation facilities, nearly 20 per cent of families didn’t have access to toilets and about 18.5 per cent of families had shared toilets, the assessment report said.

The 'Access to Safe Water' project is not just about providing water and sanitation facilities to farmers and the community.

Hygiene promotion messaging among adolescent girls and women has been a key component of this project.

''About 550 adolescent girls and women have been trained on sustainable menstrual hygiene management,'' it said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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