Water Sanitation & Hygiene

"Sanitation is more important than independence." – Mahatma Gandhi
The positive development of a community is curtailed when there is a lack of clean safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. Through our WASH projects we deliver water and sanitation infrastructure to individuals, households and at village level. We also focus on increasing awareness among local communities of the importance of practising good hygiene behaviours. To ensure the on-going maintenance of the facilities that are provided, we increase the capacity of local stakeholders so that they are empowered to take full responsibility for the infrastructure.

Core Focus Areas
Safe Drinking Water
Safe drinking water is a basic and essential need of any community. Through our Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Campaigns in Patharpratima and Sagar, and our Nirmal Gram project in North Bengal, we undertake installation/renovation of new and existing water sources to ensure communities have access to safe drinking water. Water sources are created with a minimum ratio of one source to every 250 people. Water testing is also undertaken to ensure that tube-well are not contaminated and remain safe for communities to use.
Household & School Sanitation
An absence of adequate sanitation facilities results in communities being forced to practice of open defecation, which is unhygienic and puts family members at risk to fly and water-borne diseases. To address this problem, in partnership with Water for People and the Government's Total Sanitation Campaign, we facilitate families and schools to construct sanitation facilities. At household level, low-cost units are constructed through loans which are paid in small manageable installments. At school level, through Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Campaign and the Support My School Programme, child-friendly sanitation blocks, with separate male and female facilities are constructed. Waste disposals units, including incinerator are also installed, creating a positive hygienic school environment.
Hygiene Awarness
We have established a comprehensive hygiene education programme, designed to increase awareness of water, sanitation and hygiene issues at community and school level. Through dedicated hygiene coordinators, a range of awareness activities including community programmes, dramas and demonstrations are undertaken to promote positive hygiene behaviours within the community.
Ground Water Recharging
As awareness of the importance of safe drinking water increases, the demand on ground water resources also increases. As a result, we have undertaken Rainwater Harvesting and other related activities to replenish water supplies and ensure availability of safe drinking water in all target communities.
Sustainability
Ensuring the long-term sustainability of water and sanitation facilities is critical to the success of all activities. We have introduced a number of concepts that will ensure water sources and sanitation facilities which will be suitably managed and maintained in the future. WATSAN Committees are formed at school and community level and are responsible for managing and maintaining water and sanitation facilities. We have also recruited and trained local youths, known as Jalabandhu, who undertake repairs of community tube-wells.