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INDIA: People living in remote villages have clean water access and new toilets thanks to Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the Institution for Cultural and Rural Development (I-CARD) based at Jorhat, Assam, India, are providing clean water access thanks to funding from Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The project took place in 2018 and provided hand water pumps, clean drinking water and toilets for families.

I-CARD set up 38 hand water pumps for people in the villages of Tanuchuk and Eporia. The water pumps are easily repairable and can be handled by the young and the old. The water from these pumps is safe and clean, although sometimes it may contain some iron residue. Most families construct water filters with empty containers filled with brick pieces, coal, stone chips and sand. Some use only sand for this purpose. The water can be used for their toilets, hand-washing, bathing and cooking without having to go far away from their homes.

The hand water pumps were installed toward the back of the houses. Mising tribal village people do not have bathrooms of their own, and their bathing is usually done in public near the water source either at the hand pump or by the rivers.

Salesian missionaries also set up a water tank reservoir that can hold approximately 20,000 liters of water. This is sufficient drinking water for a large village of about 200 families. The water source is from a bore well and is fitted with a submersible pump inside the pipe. This ensures a constant supply of water.

The final part of the project provided 29 individual household with toilets constructed in Eporia for the families. There is no water supply to these toilets, but families can carry water in buckets from the hand pumps. There is a small tank for water outside each toilet so that water can be stored.

“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Salesian Missions on behalf of the tribal community impacted by this project,” said Father K.A. Thomas, the director of I-CARD. “Before the project, these families practiced open defecation. With the dwindling forest areas and the increase in the number of households, people were facing immense problems. Now with funding from Salesian Missions, people have been given dignity and privacy and a sense of self-worth.”

With more than 1.3 billion people, India’s growing population is putting a severe strain on the country’s natural resources. According to Water.org, close to 77 million people do not have access to safe, clean water and 769 million have no sanitation services. Most water sources throughout the country are contaminated by sewage and agricultural runoff.

While India has made some progress in the supply of safe water, there remain gross disparities in safe water access across the country. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhea alone causing more than 1,600 deaths daily. Access to proper sanitation is extremely poor, particularly in rural areas where only 14 percent of the population has access to a latrine.

In response to this crisis, Salesian Missions has developed a “Clean Water Initiative” that has made building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.



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Institution for Cultural and Rural Development

Salesian Missions – India

Water.org – India

World Bank – India