Safe Drinking Water Practices
Lack of clean drinking water is a major problem in developing countries. Water-borne diseases are rampant in economically depressed rural areas and urban slums due to consumption of contaminated water. Thus DS Group decided to initiate a project to promote the safe drinking water practices in the rural communities of Assam and slums of Delhi & NCR region with the participation of the community while focusing on long term sustainability.
The first phase of the project was implemented in 40 villages of Chandrapur and Palasbari Blocks in the Kamrup District of Assam.The Group has partnered with Pratinidhi Samiti - an NGO reputed and experienced in implementing such projects across the country.
In the beginning of the pilot project a need assessment survey or research was conducted to collate information on the water sources, collection practices, usage patterns and understanding the frequency of water borne diseases. The implementation strategy was based on the findings of the research.
A three-day behavior change model was designed to sensitize the communities on Safe Drinking Water practices, which includes water testing, sharing information related to consumption of drinking water and demonstration on the efficacy & usage of the water purification product. The information, education and communication (IEC) material has also been developed to support the participatory awareness generation event.
As a key aspect of the project, the team is providing low cost water purification solutions to the community to prevent water borne diseases.
To ensure sustainability of the pilot project, Pani Bandhu – community level entrepreneurs have been trained and instated. The “Pani Bandhu” is a link to ensure the continuous availability of water purification product in the community and also a trained resource to clarify the queries & doubts of the community.
The project reached out to more than 25,000 families in the 85 identified villages of Kamrup district in Assam in two phases. It has been observed that the awareness level of the community has increased and the incidence of diarrhoea decreased from 16.58% to 6.50% after the project implementation.