Merck and Safe Water Network staff in India
With the support of GlobalGiving, Safe Water Network has raised $7,245 to improve water access and reduce the impact of water-borne diseases in Pochampalli and Katrapalli, two remote villages in India. We install and operate sustainable community water purification systems, namely Safe Water Stations, and promote hand washing to improve health and hygiene indicators.
In all our initiatives in India, we aim to establish access that is equitable and fair, ensuring the Stations will be sustainable over time. We train local operators, educate the community on the safe handling of water, and facilitate funding to advance local ownership, so that the community is fully invested in their success.
Update: Safe Water Network and Merck launch a 3-year partnership to increase awareness of the importance of safe water and hygiene to drive behavior change in India
Earlier this year, on World Water Day 2012, Safe Water Network and Merck announced a 3-year, $1.5 million collaboration to address India’s current safe water and sanitation challenges. The join effort will draw on Safe Water Network’s field experience in India, which already provides nearly 40,000 people with access to clean water. We will implement 8-12 new Stations and launch Demand Generation packages, which are designed to accelerate healthy behavior change and increase uptake of our services. The packages will be evaluated for effectiveness in increasing safe water adoption and potential to be replicated. In general, our initiatives will be measured for cost-effectiveness and health impact in the community, to identify the most beneficial package. In addition, we will be welcoming 4-5 new Merck employee volunteers, or Fellows, who will bring significant expertise in health, research design, and demand generation to the table.
Our recent findings from the field show that all 16 of our operating Stations in India are successfully generating enough revenue to meet operating costs. They are also recovering capital costs, but each at a different pace and sometimes in an irregular pattern. Our intention with these demand generation packages and evaluations is to increase adoption and utilization by household, thereby improving sustainability and financial viability of the Stations.