FRANK Water in Uttar Pradesh
What's the challenge?
Agra is a city of 1.3 million people, famous for being the home of the Taj Mahal. The city’s water supply is currently dependent on the river Yamuna, which provides a limited supply of polluted, undrinkable water. Those who can afford it purchase bottled water or household filters, whilst people living in one of the city’s 432 slums generally either tap groundwater supplies or depend on private tankers, which bring in water from outside of the city.
Currently, the slums aren't connected to the piped water network, and the groundwater is highly polluted by local industries. Communities in this area depend entirely on water from unregulated private tankers.
What's FRANK Water doing about it?
The project aims to reach 500 households (3000 people) in two particularly marginalised slums with access to a sustainable supply of safe water, along with improved sanitation and drainage.
Working with NGO Partner CURE India over three years, FRANK Water hopes to revive traditional systems of resource management by combining current techniques, including GIS mapping, water testing and participatory learning and action tools, with traditional knowledge of rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and water conservation.
Where we're up to
For urban communities, taking ownership of water and sanitation resources is notoriously difficult. Despite this, we've made some good progress over the last year, supporting 15 households and one large school to fit rainwater harvesting systems which store, filter and redistribute water to taps across the communities. We've worked with communities to establish six groups of community ambassadors.
- Groups have set up a solid waste collection and disposal system for residents.
- They’ve cleared and re-planted Bagichi Park to make it suitable for children to play.
- They’ve taken responsibility to clean up a large communal pond that, once dredged, will help recharge groundwater stores.
- They’ve set up an art group for young women. At first glance, it’s nothing to do with water, but in some places, women rarely leave home. Attending this group not only improves their confidence and sense of empowerment but it provides a space in which girls can receive information and instruction on menstrual hygiene management.