An Effort To Provide ALL With Clean Drinking Water
Accessibility to safe drinking water is one of the basic needs and rights of people. Severe Health risks arise from consumption of contaminated water which leads to water borne diseases such as Cholera. Diarrhoea, Malaria. Typhoid and more.
Everyone can now access clean drinking water at only 3 to 5 rupees for 25 litres.
To curb water borne diseases and to ensure safe drinking water, Lebara has installed 23 RO (Reverse Osmosis) plants in 17 Camps. Implementing Partner Anbalayam, has installed 2 RO plants Vazhavandankottai refugee camp providing access 454 families to safe drinking water.
Earlier the main sources for drinking water in the camps were either canned mineral water which costs INR 35/- per can (20 Litres) or pipelines built in the community. Through Lebara’s intervention, the community continues to receive RO water at a subsidized cost of 3 to 5 rupees and families were able to save an estimated INR 400 per month. The funds generated from the RO plant are managed and maintained by an elected RO committee consisting of 5-6 members from the camp. In turn for their effort and time, committee members receive a nominal honorarium as an added income.
Committee Member Mr. Dharavathi said:
Previously many families use to suffer from kidney problems and other water borne diseases, but now it has reduced as most of families started accessing RO water. Being a RO committee member, I get paid which acts as an additional support to my family.
Lebara continues to support communities with improved source of drinking water which has not only minimised incidences of water borne diseases but also helped communities access safe drinking water at a subsidised cost. Lebara also provides an income source for few families thereby bring about changes in the community’s lives.
Restoring safety and dignity robbed by floods to young girls
Following the floods in December 2015, public infrastructure was severely damaged and people lost valuable belongings. The Lion’s Labour Colony School in Guindy provides education to children from marginalised communities, was under 7 feet of water for a week, leading to irreparable infrastructure and equipment damage. Girls of these marginalised communities were unable to find toilets and public defecation endangered public health, hygiene and personal safety & dignity.
“There are grills attached to our windows which make us feel secure..” - Rajeshwari
As part of the Rain Rehabilitation Initiative, Lebara Foundation provided financial assistance to renovate 7 toilets which helped 200 girls and 20 female teachers access improved sanitation and hygiene services. During which time some girls uses boy’s toilet when they were vacant and others were forced to hold themselves which proved to be difficult when they were menstruating as they found it uncomfortable to dispose sanitary pads.
A student Gayathri said,
We are much more relaxed after the toilets were opened for use. We do not have to worry about when we can use them and can concentrate on the classes. We are all the more happy that the toilets are of such good quality; better than how it used to be before the rain damaged them. Our parents are also happy now that we are able to use good toilets in our school.
Bringing smiles back to Manimegalai: Don’t take your toilet for granted!
“Had we continued going for open defecation, this damage to toilet would not have made any big change in our daily life. But after we had used the toilet for more than a year conveniently; we were not able to defecate in the open and many days returned without relieving ourselves.” - Manimegalai
A toilet is most often taken for granted. Unprecedented torrential rains in November 2015, flood and ravaged villages all over the coast of Tamil Nadu. Communities lost everything including livestock, household amenities and in some cases even life. Ms. Manimegalai is one of the victims of these floods had lost her toilet.
Using toilets had completely changed Manimegalai and her family’s attitudes and they felt very uncomfortable defecating in public. The absence of community toilets made the situation worse for young girls and women. With having lost everything, her parents did not have enough money to repair the toilet. Our partner, Wherever the Need and a local organization Centre for Sustainable Development highlighted the issue and assured Manimegalai they will get her toilet fixed.
In Indian rural communities, toilets ensure safety, dignity and privacy before sanitation and hygiene. Lebara acknowledged the significance of toilets and continues to support the construction of toilets whenever there is a need in communities. Needless to say, Manimegalai got her toilet back!