Safe Drinking Water & Sanitation for Those in Need

 
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Aug 1, 2014

Clean Drinking Water for California Students

As drought tightens its grip on California, national attention is being focused on water issues for the state. Amidst this shortage of water, we must always keep in mind that a sustainable source of safe water is the bedrock of opportunity for a society.

The Need:

Over 25 schools in 2013 throughout California, as documented by the California Department of Public Health, have arsenic contamination in their water, while another 16 schools have high levels of nitrate, a harmful by-product of farming.

  • Because of these contaminates, a child may suffer from skin rashes, diarrheal illnesses, pesticide poisoning, circulatory problems, or cancer. 
  • These cases lead to long-term absenteeism from school, increased health-related costs and financial stress on the family. 
  • Additionally, research demonstrates that when students have access to clean water to drink in school, their health and wellbeing is significantly improved, such as the decrease in obesity or dehydration.
    • As documented in a report by California Food Policy Advocates on Improving Water Consumption in Schools, “...the consumption of fluids during meals is a necessary strategy to maintain proper hydration for children.” Dehydration is associated with impaired cognitive function and can adversely affect memory, reasoning, hand-eye coordination, concentration and alertness. 

In total, approximately 75-80 schools in California have harmful contaminates in their water. Cash-strapped schools are struggling to provide students with clean water. State Assemblyman Luis Alejo (30th California Assembly District) recently acknowledged, “Access to clean drinking water in our rural school districts is clearly a problem in California.” 

The Solution:

To mitigate the water challenge facing California, especially in low-income communities who suffer disproportionally, Blue Planet Network is coming forward. "Clean Drinking Water for California Students" is a program designed by Blue Planet Network that brings together a consortium of technical advisors, community advocacy organizations and expert water system implementers based on their track record and commitment to collaborate. 

Program Goals:

  • To combine cost-efficient water filtration systems with a community engagement program to reach 3,000 people at a minimum of 5 underserved schools. 
  • Provide school-based water system training to a minimum of 25 school administrators (5 per school) to ensure proper maintenance, financing and long- term sustainability.

To ensure the success of this program several evaluation methods will be put into place:

  • Survey before and after program implementation the incidence of contaminated drinking water in schools. 
  • Survey a sample of the school administration and student population before and after the program to measure the health and obesity levels of students. 
  • Track the attendance of students, administrators and community members in water-related presentations and awareness campaigns in school and in the local community. 
  • Interview a sample of community members, students and administration before and after the program to understand the “real life” impact of safe drinking water in the schools and on the communities.
  • Conduct a final impact study to document the overall health of students and their increased activity and academic performance level. 

Our program will help children stay healthy now, while long-term initiatives tackle the greater agricultural and political causes of California’s water crisis.  The program will be entered onto Blue Planet Network's technology platform to be tracked, shared and monitored through the lifecycle of the project. 

With a reliable source of clean water, schools can provide their students with a healthy future and families can focus on bettering their lives. Thank you so much for joining this important cause here on Global Giving! 

To find our more about this program you may email info@blueplanetnetwork.org.

Apr 18, 2014

Stories of Blue Planet Network - See our new videos!

Meera Hira-Smith of Project Well
Meera Hira-Smith of Project Well

What's the common thread among these interviews? 

Sabore Ole Oyie, Dr. Meera Hira-Smith, John Nguyen, Dave Meader, Rudi Dundas, Jin Zidell and Lisa Nash recognize that it's unconscionable to allow 768 million people without safe drinking water to fend for themselves. As a result, each of these individuals have chosen to become part of the solution. Our members profiled above work in different regions and specialize in sustainable techniques of project implementation, but they all come to Blue Planet Network with the shared values and commitment to being a part of something bigger.

Blue Planet Network helps connect over 100 water implementers, funders, and grassroots communities through our innovative online platform and award-winning programsWe allow our members to track and manage their projects online and help them to continually monitor and analyze project milestones for long-term success. We work hard to meet the demands of our members so they can design longer-lasting, evidence-based programs and serve even more people in needTogether, with your support, we will continue to provide the online tools and programs that drive sustainable water and sanitation projects and bring disadvantaged people out of survival mode and into the world of opportunity.

Please read about all of our members and their project data being tracked and shared on Blue Planet Network.

Thank you so much for choosing to support Blue Planet Network and our member water projects here on GlobalGiving.

 

Sabore Ole Oyie of Sabore
Sabore Ole Oyie of Sabore's Well
John Nguyen of East Meets West
John Nguyen of East Meets West
Rudi Dundas of Drop by Drop
Rudi Dundas of Drop by Drop
Dave Meader of SV2
Dave Meader of SV2

Links:

Jan 3, 2014

Water project success! More people, more efficiently.

Pure Water for the World. Photo by Jim Baker
Pure Water for the World. Photo by Jim Baker

What brings us all together today is the power of water. Water changes everything. Time and time again it is proven that access to clean water and sanitation makes the greatest difference in the lives of people that need it the most. Blue Planet Network is working tirelessly to help communities rebound from serious disease and socio-economic setbacks related to contaminated water and ineffective hygiene habits. We thank you so much for joining our team.

Still, 780 million people around the world are without access to clean water. Women and children suffer disproportionally. Collectively, they spend 200 million hours each day hiking long distances, only to lug back water that is contaminated more often than not. The question becomes, "How do we bring water to more people, more efficiently?"

Blue Planet Network has researched the global water crisis, listened to the needs of communities and has acted by building a collective action network. Together we can make the greatest impact. Blue Planet Network works by bringing the global water, sanitation and hygiene sector together as a transparent, close knit community focused on the longevity of water projects. Our global technology platform empowers our 109 members, funders and implementers alike, with the tools to plan, track and monitor projects. Blue Planet Network now hosts 1,900 water and sanitation programs that benefit over 1,500,000 people. Specifically, we would like to share the sustainable results of our SMS Text Monitoring tools and collaborative Peer Review service.

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Spotlight on

 Pure Water for the World

Since 2009, Pure Water for the World (PWW) has partnered with Blue Planet Network to increase the impact of their thirteen water projects, six in Haiti and seven in Honduras. PWW uses Blue Planet Network’s tools and services to gain best practices within the water sector shared by other members of the network. They also showcase their projects to global partners and interested funders using a comprehensive and attractive dashboard, one of the features of Blue Planet Network’s platform.

In 2012, PWW submitted two water project plans for Peer Review to Blue Planet Network. Through a collaborative online process, including many questions from a panel of 4–6 members, and thorough responses by PWW, both project plans were approved. By participating in Peer Review, Blue Planet Network members help each other plan high-quality programs designed for sustainability. One such program is PWW's water project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that helped 1,000 children gain access to clean drinking water by installing water filters in 16 schools. These children are now attending school regularly and living healthier lives, free of water-related diseases.

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Spotlight on:

Palmyra

Palmyra is appreciated by local and state governments for its pioneering efforts in water conservation and rural development across India. Palmyra tracks and monitors ten of its water and sanitation projects on Blue Planet Network, totaling nearly $2,938,000. 

In 2012, Palmyra launched a women-led water, sanitation and hygiene project to provide 250 rural villagers with clean drinking water and latrines in the Karasanur Village of southern India. Palmyra submitted the project for Peer Review and received high ratings by five Blue Planet Network members with key experiences. Like PWW, this quality control process and sharing of best practices provides funders with a high level of investment confidence. 

Palmyra also utilized Blue Planet Network’s SMS Text Monitoring service for its Karasanur Village project to report impact. Palmyra’s personnel texted 35 SMS status reports available on Blue Planet Network’s platform. Project stakeholders were able to easily follow the project’s milestones and celebrate its successes.

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We are excited to continue offering even more innovative online services to scale the impact of water programs, and look to our supporters to help make that happen. We thank you for being part of our vision to increase the opportunities that sustainable clean water brings and to saying yes when people need us the most.


Pure Water for the World. Photo: Jeremy Jeziorski
Pure Water for the World. Photo: Jeremy Jeziorski
Palmyra. Photo by Dean Forbes
Palmyra. Photo by Dean Forbes

Links:

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:

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Organization

Project Leader

Jackie Gibbons

Redwood City, California United States

Where is this project located?