The project aimed to address the highly disturbing reality that less than 4% of rural households in India have all of the three basic facilities of electricity, safe drinking water and toilets. In Parumpair Kandikai Tribal colony in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu state, India, there were 50 families living without basic needs such as these.
The area is very poor and most of the people there work in agriculture; however, most of the young women work as servant maids and the children of the tribal colony attend the nearby government school.
In Tamil Nadu state, more than 18% of children below the age of four die due to the common illnesses often linked with poor sanitary conditions, such as diarrhoea, sickness, worms, and skin infections. Open defecation is very common and is one of the major problems in this particular area.
Furthermore, the Panchayath (local council) only supplied water for one or two hours daily, via three taps in the village. Even then, it was only available when there was electricity; the community often experienced regular power outages often resulting in no water at all. When the water was accessible it was often of poor quality, and because of its scarcity it was only used for cooking, drinking and very basic washing.
In January 2013, work began in Parumpair Kandikai Tribal colony on a Just a Drop communal toilet, bath house and pumped water supply project, implemented by local partner El Shaddai Ministries Trust and sponsored by The Highfield Company, with support from PATA UK.
The implementation of the programme was coordinated by the local people, El Shaddai Ministries Trust and the volunteer engineers from Aecom. Initially, the drawing plans and cross sections of the blocks were produced. A local, well reputed contractor was then chosen to carry out the construction activities. The village contributed enthusiastically to the project by carrying the water for construction, curing the plastering work as well as volunteering as night watchmen at the site.
Fees are not collected from the households, as the cleaning and maintenance of the toilet blocks will be done by a women’s Self Help Group in the village. Any minor repairs and the cleaning of the septic tanks will be the responsibility of the Panchayath. El Shaddai Ministries staff and Just a Drop will continue to monitor the site in order to give necessary suggestions and feedback. The local health centre staff will also visit once a month to conduct awareness and advice meetings. A Water User Committee has been established to keep a record on the health statistics in the project area. This will allow the colony to monitor the health impact of the project and discuss any issues arising.
- Provision of adequate and safe sanitation facilities
- Provision of sufficient and clean drinking water to the community
- Reduction of pollution in the village
- Equipping the community members with practical management skills through active involvement in the management of the project
- At the time of the baseline survey only 39% of people were aware of the importance of sanitation and safe water; now 100% of the community members are aware
- Targeted reduction in worm infestation from 50% to 15%
- Targeted reduction in skin infections from 75% to 20%
- Targeted reduction in malaria and diarrhoea from 50% to 10%
- At the time of the baseline survey 76% of diarrhoea cases were referred to the local hospital for treatment. As the rate of illness is reduced, many households will save the money previously spent on treatment
- Targeted increase in pupil attendance from 70% to 95%
- Targeted increase in available time for income related activities from 50% to 95%
Date of Project: April 2013