Indian Women Testing Pump
In India, many rural water wells are in non-working order, most commonly due to broken hand pumps. This is because in the past, many government and non-government organisations have simply come in with a drill team, drilled a well, and left. There was rarely any training on well maintenance, the establishment of a water user committee (WUC), or routine follow-ups. When the hand pump eventually needs repair, the communities are unable to do so because of the lack of resources, proper management, and sense of ownership.
The situation is not any different in the areas where BridgIT works in Andhra Pradesh. While we are working in these villages, our partners receive several requests from nearby communities for support to repair their broken boreholes. In most cases, the repair requires a complete overhaul of the hand pump system which is way too high a cost for the communities to repair themselves.
The first encounter with the beneficiary community happens at the pre-construction meeting where people are educated on their responsibility during the project implementation and also the long-term benefits of the resource once repaired. Training includes establishing a Water User Committee (WUC) and guidance on its governance and the cultivation of good WASH practices. The community WUCs are trained in basic water resource maintenance and management, and teach others how to can maximise the health impacts by enforcing good sanitation practices like use of clean containers, boiling all drinking water and the use of latrines at their homes.
Refurbishment projects are very cost-effective and therefore offer truly effective altruism for donors. Well refurbishments in Andhra Pradesh villages cost only US$1,250, and serve an average of 835 people/village. In other words, BridgIT is able to provide the basic human right of sustainable and accessible water for a total cost of US$1.50/beneficiary. Please consider providing an entire village in Andhra Pradesh with a clean water supply.