Our fundraising manager, Philippa, is currently on a field trip in India; There are 24,000 villages in Andhra Pradesh and access to clean water is an issue for many of them. Government installed bore wells or open water tanks may be the only option that many of them have... And seasonally the problem becomes even more acute.
For the last week myself and Stewart, our research and development volunteer, have witnessed how incredibly vital to daily life the FRANK Water projects are for each and every community that we work with.
However, this is not just about providing the technology for safe water. By working with our NGO partner, Bala Vikasa, each community undertakes to own and manage the project from the very outset. When a village is considered they must be able to show that at least 80% of the community are supportive of the project and willing to pay a small membership fee at the start and then a user fee for every can of water.
The village are then brought together and a committee is elected to become responsible for the construction, finances and ongoing maintenance required. Training of the committee and the machine operators is an integral part of the program to ensure that the village have all the skills to make it a success.
We visited a recently installed project in the village of Seethampet and it was clear to see the community were really proud of their village development. "The water not only tastes better, but it will have benefits for our health in the short term and the long term" said Vikramy Swarmy, President of the Seethampet Water Committee.
Community involvement is the best way for a village to benefit. FRANK Water has helped with the first step by providing funds for the project to be set up and from now on it belongs to the community of Seethampet, who now have the knowledge and financial capacity to make it their own.
Thank you to Plain Lazy customers who have made the Seethampet water project possible: http://www.plainlazy.com/frank-water/