THE PROBLEM & HOW WE’RE TACKLING IT
In the district of Vishakhapatnam, women and adolescent girls spend about 8-10 hours a day to fetch water for their households, this adds up to a staggering 4200+ kilometres covered in a year. They spend their entire day and lives making these journeys to provide an amenity as basic as water. What if there was a way to change this and all they needed was a little help from you?
We at Visakha Jilla Nava Nirmana Samithi (VJNNS), have come up with a gravity based water system, which supplies water to tribal settlements. These systems are built with help from the community and they are systems that are manageable by the community itself, making it sustainable as well as a boon. Our system of water distribution requires very little maintenance after the project has been set up. This is a sustainable water supply source as the springs are not overburdened.
So far we have successfully brought water to 431 villages. This has made water accessible to over 1.3 lakh people across the district. The problem is that there are over 5 lakh people in the Vishakhapatnam district, 95% of whom rely of springs for their water and still rely on the female population to fetch water for the house. This is a solution that we’re now looking to take to more tribal settlements in the area.
We are working on the construction of new water tank that will deliver clean water to people in villages that are deprived of this simple human necessity.
We currently lack the funds to take this project any further and this is where your contribution is paramount to carry on delivering water to the people. The construction of the next tank requires a sum of 5.2 lakh rupees to construct and set working. This one tank will make water available to another 200 people, another whole tribal settlement whose lives will transform completely.
HERE’S WHY WE NEED TO ACT
As a developing country, understandably, there are major discrepancies in the distribution of natural resources. However, the severe lack of an amenity as basic as water is shocking. As recently as 2012, 23% of urban households had no access to clean water, the state in the rural areas is much worse off. UNICEF estimates that over 350 million Indians have no access to clean and sustainable water.
The World Bank estimates that 21% of all communicable diseases in the country are related to unsafe water. For instance, Diarrhoea alone causes more than 1600 deaths daily. Even more shocking is the fact that 600 million people do not have access to a latrine. The defecation in public places only adds to the contamination of water sources which are already overburdened by sewage, industrial and agricultural waste run off.
There is another fallout caused by lack of sustainable water. Inevitably, the children and women of the household are the ones that go out to collect water, sometimes these people land up having to walk for miles with heavy water carriers on their heads. This has an adverse effect on the life of the children, mainly girl children as they tend to go out to fetch water rather than attend school. According to UNICEF, only 13% of adult males go out to fetch water in India.
WHO ARE WE
Setup in 1972, the Visakha Jilla Nava Nirmana Samithi (VJNNS) began its operations in Vishakhapatnam before shifting its base to Narsipatnam in 1980 in order to be closer to the tribal communities.
As an organisation we look to improve the lives of the people in tribal settlements by setting up sustainable development through designing mechanisms which are easy to manage and can be handled by the community itself.
We are working towards the sustainable development of water systems in order to improve the quality of life of the human beings & their living conditions. The systems that they provide are designed in such a way that they are self-manageable by the community. They aim to make people from impoverished backgrounds realise their innate potential and explore the solution available within their abilities. With these solutions they aim to empower the people and the community to help them overcome hurdles that they face with respect to education, health, nutrition, employment, housing and living environments. They have joined hands with Fueladream.com, an innovative crowd funding platform and marketplace, to raise funds for one of their successful initiatives.
Currently, we have done work with respect to,
- Health – We have worked to destigmatise, educate people and inform them about the medicines available to them for HIV (AIDS). Another important project that we’ve undertaken is nutrition for infants and young children.
- Water, hygiene, sanitation – Construction of Gravity fed water supply systems (GFWSS). Constructing project to make sure that rainwater harvesting is a reality. Constructing bores and wells.
- Education – looking for sustainable ways to make sure that children have the urge to go to school and that parents have the inclination to send their children to school. We also look at courses and schemes to help adult education.
- Agriculture and environment – Building Sri systems. Using Bio-Technology to improve yield and the fertility of the soil.