Blue Planet Network

Blue Planet Network is a global network of experienced water groups, funders and grassroots communities working to bring sustainable safe drinking water to people in rural communities around the world. Beyond health, accessing clean drinking water is the critical first step for communities to rise out of poverty, to gain education, and to ensure economic and political stability. To date, our network of members has enabled more than 1,500,000 people with clean drinking water and improved sanitation. However, we CANNOT stop there. Our goal is to enable safe drinking water for 200,000,000 people in the next 20 years and we need your help.
Sep 4, 2013

Blue Planet Network members bringing opportunity to rural Guatemala and India

Preparing the pit for the septic tank in Quechip
Preparing the pit for the septic tank in Quechip

Spotlight on Agua Para La Salud in Guatemala

Agua Para La Salud (APLS) has been a Blue Planet Network NGO member since 2008 and has approximately 125 water and sanitation projects featured on Blue Planet Network's technology platform. From the BPN platform, APLS monitors, tracks and shares its projects so all Blue Planet Network members can learn. APLS is committed to identifying sustainable building techniques and community involvement practices. APLS also engages in Blue Planet Network's Peer Review service that encourages members to vet water projects collaboratively and assess their long-term sustainability. This crowd-sourcing process empowers members to learn from one another and exchange critical knowledge about planning, implementing and sustaining water programs. Blue Planet Network empowers its members to connect, collaborate and share innovative ideas so the water sector can observe, replicate proven models, and celebrate stories of success. Funders often choose to invest in our member projects due to this service. 

APLS focuses on improving health and sanitation facilities in the underserved health clinics in four very rural villages of Xepiun, Vipecbalam, Quechip and Tujolom in Ixil region of western Guatemala highlands. Previously, these clinics lacked basic sanitation infrastructure, forcing residents to rely on their rudimentary home resources. In developed nations, it is hard to imagine not being able to wash your hands before entering into a doctor's office. APLS built, for each clinic, the much needed hand-washing stations, septic systems, bathrooms and sidewalks --immensely helpful in the wet season, and often overlooked.

The impact of APLS projects has been huge. UNICEF estimates that diarrhea diseases are responsible for claiming the lives of 1.1 million children globally every year. According to Inter-American Development Bank, the water and sanitation sector in Guatemala is characterized by low coverage, poor quality services, and deteriorating physical assets related to a need for increased investments in basic infrastructures. Population growth, agricultural expansion, unevenly distributed services, and polluted sources have contributed to the inability of citizens to access adequate amounts of clean water and basic sanitation. 

Agua Para La Salud is working to remedy these limitations, working directly with the rural communities in dire need to save lives and build healthier and brighter futures for thousands of families and children in the hardest to reach areas of Guatemala. Approximately 2,562 people now have access to the hand-washing stations and clean water thanks to APLS. APLS' health clinics are self-sustaining and community-led; taking the strain off the national hospitals in the nearby municipality of Nebaj. 


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Spotlight on Palmyra in India

Palmyra is appreciated by local and state governments for its pioneering efforts in water conservation and rural development across India. Palmyra partners with Blue Planet Network to share best practices of its ten water and sanitation projects totaling nearly $2,938,000 in cost. These projects are tracked and monitored on Blue Planet Network’s platform. Palmyra has also embraced Blue Planet Network's SMS-based monitoring service in its mission to help India's rural poor with clean water and sanitation. India’s population of 1.2 billion is made up of 929 million mobile phone users — a colossal 77% of the population. Blue Planet Network’s SMS-based service enables communities and member organizations equipped with cell phones, to monitor and report on safe drinking water and sanitation installations. Palmyra's personnel working in remote areas can send in field status reports from their cell phones. This simple solution to a fast-changing society allows Blue Planet Network members to track progress and address project-related challenges in a new way. This service has greatly empowered Palmyra and its beneficiary communities to take charge of their water systems and allows entire organizations to learn and share efficiently.

Palmyra is quick to SMS update on its project profile page of construction stages, factors that may delay prospective work, impact evaluations, and more. Most recently Palmyra has submitted notes for the Sanitation Facility of Endiyur Village of Marakkanam Block of Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu, India. These maintenance indicators couldn't be more important.

Palmyra's project has done much more than build 25 new toilet facilities for Endiyur. Palmyra has held training programs to foster learning of key community personnel, namely women groups to become self-help groups for Endiyur for years to come. These self-help groups proved to Palmyra that intimate knowledge of the local environment can significantly contribute to sustainable water project designs. For example, local beneficiaries were able to identify Palmyra's original design for Endiyur as flawed. The first design did not include both showers and toilets. It was determined, however, that combining the two could help rid the community of water stagnation near homes which is a breeding place for mosquitos which often cause malaria and dengue fever in the area.

Women quickly became integral to the planning, design, construction, operation, allocation and management of funds for Endiyur's sanitation projects. The empowerment attained through these new leadership and managerial skills is directly responsible for women contributing more to the economy; further lifting the village out of poverty. This sanitation project is a true example of how safe drinking water and sanitation is at the center of health, happiness and opportunity. 

Blue Planet Network is proud to feature Palmyra and its work across rural communities in southern India.  

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Thank you so much again for donating directly to the safe drinking water and sanitation projects of our members on Blue Planet Network. We will continue to work hard and show you the progress and opportunity your financial contribution makes possible. Please visit our website at www.blueplanetnetwork.org to see the full scope of the impact we have on the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.
Hand-washing station in Quechip
Hand-washing station in Quechip
Bathrooms in Quechip
Bathrooms in Quechip
Sidewalk keeps bathrooms & wash station accesible
Sidewalk keeps bathrooms & wash station accesible
Proud beneficiary family of Endiyur Village
Proud beneficiary family of Endiyur Village
Community group in Endiyur Village
Community group in Endiyur Village
Bathroom in progress, Endiyur Village
Bathroom in progress, Endiyur Village
Home before toilet, Endiyur Village
Home before toilet, Endiyur Village

Links:

May 31, 2013

Accomplishments over a year with Blue Planet Network

Hospital water needs met in Pallisa, Uganda
Hospital water needs met in Pallisa, Uganda

Since March 2012, Blue Planet Network has grown from 84 members working in 1,130 communities across 21 countries to 102 members working in 2,400 communities across 27 countries. In addition, Blue Planet Network has supported its members who have worked tirelessly to bring clean water to over 1,100,000 people in 2013, a significant increase from 825,000 people since early 2012. 

One project we are celebrating is the successful pilot implementation of H2O Health Plus (H20+), a multi-use initiative that seeks to ameliorate the dire health and socio-economic situation confronting impoverished villagers in Uganda, especially women and girls. H20+ is demonstrating the unique power of sustainable safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation to provide measurable improvements in health (particularly childbirth safety, maternal health and early childhood health), health clinic capacity, economic vitality and education. Blue Planet Network leaders will train H20+ participants to use our peer-to-peer collaboration and online technology services. Namely H2O+ will use SMS reporting technology to send progress reports and ongoing project data to Blue Planet Network’s technology platform, which will serve as H20+’s planning, monitoring and evaluation system.

Thanks to our generous funders, H20+ was piloted in 2012 successfully in Pallisa, a district in Eastern Uganda. The project brought clean water to rural populations and improved capacity to underserved health clinics as well as communities. International Lifeline Fund, a member on Blue Planet Network's platform, drilled H20+'s borehole wells and have partnered with Africa Ahead to launch Community Health Clubs. Five borehole wells were constructed near health clinics providing 6,392 villagers living in these five communities with direct access to clean water. Additionally, those traveling from afar to these clinics have access to this clean water, which calculates 4,000 visitors per year per health clinic. Because of the strategic placement of the wells, the program will benefit 25,600 people annually. For more on H20+’s pilot results and the creators behind the model, see this washfunders.org article.

Filling up at a new well in Pallisa, Uganda
Filling up at a new well in Pallisa, Uganda
Pallisa hits water!
Pallisa hits water!
It
It's a child's role to fetch water
Community Health Club in action
Community Health Club in action
Queue for a new well in Pallisa, Uganda
Queue for a new well in Pallisa, Uganda

Links:

May 28, 2013

You did it with Blue Planet Network!

Women at the old water source
Women at the old water source

A special thank you again for your diligence in raising $6,500 for the Blue Planet Network member Watershed Organizational Trust (WOTR). These funds can now be distributed to WOTR who will begin the ground work to build a new water well, a 7,500-liter storage tank and several toilets that will serve the poverty stricken hamlet of Pawarvasti. The 139 residents will now have a sustainable source of clean water in order to lead healthier, more productive lives. 

Here is a clip of an interview with Sonali Pawar. Sonali is a young girl from Pawarvasti, one of three hamlets comprising the Darewadi village, whom you have directly helped!

Sonali Pawar

Sonali Pawar: Hi, my name is Sonali Shankar Pawar and I am an 11-year-old in the 4th grade. In order to attend school, I have to live with my grandfather and grandmother, and my younger brother, Ajay, in the Darewadi village. My parents are staying a few hours away in the City of Sangamner because they are both working as labors in the brick factory. Since my grandparents are old and they have to go for labor work every morning, I help to fetch water many times a day from a faraway well. I go every morning, usually making two trips, which takes me about one or two hours. Then I have to make another trip in the evening walking for about 30-45 minutes. Sometimes I miss school because of these trips and other times it makes it very difficult to study before class. It's also hard in the evening to study since we always have to fetch water. But even when the power is cut or when there is no home light, we still try to study using a kerosene lamp. It would make it easier for us if we had water close-by so we could study and attend school.

If you would like to learn about more peer reviewed projects from Blue Planet Netwkkork NGO members, like WOTR, that waiting for funding, please review this link and see the projects that we help our members showcase, track, monitor and share.

Thank you all again for your heartfelt support. We will continue to work with our network of NGO members to give you direct access to meaningful water and sanitation projects that yield immediate benefits and the opportunity to live the better life we all know is possible!


Links:

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