Water and Sanitation in Tharparkar
It costs $2 for 1 person to get access to clean water
As the previous collaboration with Sukaar Foundation proved to be successful, ADP is excited at the prospect of improving water and sanitation access for a second target community in Tharparkar. In approving the project proposal, the ADP evaluation team concluded that the current source of water, groundwater is neither easily accessible nor fit for drinking and cooking purposes for the target community. Substantial information demonstrates that rainwater harvesting and bio sand filtration will provide clean water for drinking purposes as per WHO drinking water standards (read here) by reducing microbial contamination. There is sufficient annual rainfall for the scheme to be effective in the village. The evidence of critical need for water and sanitation access along with the size of the target community, the current proposal deems to be an effective intervention.
With your smart philanthropy, we can fund 126 household level rainwater harvesting ponds, 42 latrines, and 84 bio-sand filters to provide access to clean water and sanitation. Part of the construction works shall be completed through community involvement and training. To enhance and sustain local community impact, local WASH groups shall be established to impart training and build awareness on proper hygiene practices. The target community consists of 84 households.
With little over 250 mm of annual rainfall, limited irrigation and no civic infrastructure, local communities are restricted to groundwater to meet consumption needs. Many such sources available to the community contain a high concentration of Total Dissolved Salts (TDS), making them unfit for human consumption. In village Phool Ji Wandh, households must collect water from wells situated at a distance of 3 kms to meet their daily needs during dry season. This results in high levels of hardship, diversion from normal routine activities and risk to life for the local community. Rain water is free from salts and contamination. In village Phool Ji Wandh, this shall be harvested through household level ponds (capacity of 16,000 liters, fit for a full year’s drinking and cooking requirements) during rainy season.
Sanitation is another critical issue in the village and the practice of open defecation is quite common. Unsanitary practices cause serious implications on community health, the issue of risk to life in this part of Sindh is also a key consideration for sanitation projects. Community members typically resort to using open fields at dawn to defecate, leaving them exposed to the risk of assault or to snake bites. Hence by building latrines (1 latrine to be shared amongst 2 households) and providing sanitation awareness sessions, ADP aims to inculcate good hygiene practices.
Since groundwater sources are limited in this particular region, reservoirs offer a primary viable alternative towards increasing water access. After thorough evaluation of alternatives and background research, the ADP project team concluded that rainwater harvesting offers the best available means of improving water access for the target community.
Sukaar Foundation is a registered Non-Governmental Organization, established in 2003, which aims to improve the lives of marginalized communities of Tharparkar by providing access to improved water, sanitation, hygiene, education and employment opportunities.
ADP and Sukaar Foundation have partnered previously to implement a similar Rainwater Harvesting project in the village of Dhabi Bheel, also located in Tharparkar district, which targeted 140 households.
Critical need: Sukaar Foundation will provide monthly and quarterly reports to ADP to evaluate the effectiveness of this project and generate useful data for future interventions.
- Access – Number of people with access to water and sanitation;
- Effectiveness – Number of operating latrines and bio-sand filters;
- Effectiveness – Volume of rain water harvested and consumed;
- Awareness – Village score on criteria for classification as open defecation free.
Beneficiaries/Social Return: 541 Individuals
Longevity: With minimal repair and maintenance which includes cleaning and de-silting ponds once a year, these RWH ponds can last up to 15 years.
Scalability: Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) has been implemented in several different regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Tharparkar, Pakistan. This project can easily be scaled onto other villages, especially in the Sindh region, which have limited groundwater resources but sufficient rainfall.
Due Diligence Questions:
Q1 Do rainwater harvesting ponds offer a technically viable means of providing water access to the community compared to taking water from underground wells?
A1 Rainwater Harvesting is an appropriate measure to provide water access to the community for several reasons. One of the underlying reasons is that the current ground water is unsafe to use as it is brackish in nature and has a high concentration of salt and minerals. The TDS level in water which is safe to use for drinking should be under 1000 ppm, whereas this groundwater has TDS level from 3500 ppm to 6000 ppm. Rainwater Harvesting ponds provide an adequate solution for water consumption as it does not have any chemical contamination. The water will be obtained through hand-pumps. The turbidity and sand particles found in the rainwater will be removed through bio-filters, making it fit for use. The level of water-borne diseases will reduce in this village. The water from these ponds is expected to be sufficient for the community members depending on the level of rain and monsoon season. In the last phase of RWH implementation in the village of Dhabi Bheel in Tharparkar, the villagers reported that the water in the household ponds was actually surplus to their needs.
Q2 What is the rationale for selecting the target village for this project? What information was considered when coming to this decision?
A2 Located in Tharparkar, the village of Phool Ji Wand has an acute scarcity of clean water, with critical status of hygiene and sanitation too. Comprising of 541 individuals, the main source of water for this village is groundwater, which has high chemical concentration according to various water tests conducted. The water content causes several nefarious, water-borne diseases, such as diarrhea and kidney stones. The availability of water is another issue, as there is limited groundwater and the villagers often have to travel up to 6 kilometers to avail. On average, it takes 4-5 hours of walking to fetch water and mostly, children and women are sent. The village members stated that during the last drought period, four children have died due to strenuous labor. Furthermore, the water available from these resources is not sufficient for the villagers’ needs. On average, they require 147 liters of water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes, whereas they avail only 50-60 liters of water from these groundwater sources. Sanitation is another grave issue as there is a huge prevalence of open defecation in this area. The hygiene issue exacerbates the conditions of these villagers as more diseases are spread. It is a common practice in this village to utilize rainwater through open tanks or other water storing mechanism. Hence, Rainwater Harvesting provides a suitable mechanism to deal with the issue of brackish, unsafe groundwater along with the difficulties involved with consuming and obtaining it.
We just received word from Sukaar that 80/126 household level nadi ponds along with nadi filters; and 32/84 latrines have been built. The community has also benefited from an awareness session on water and sanitation (WASH) and healthy hygiene practices that was attended by the entire village. The report outlining details is available in the documents section ‘MRP ADP Sukaar
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