In 2009, Vishaka Jilla Nava Nirmana Samiti (VJNNS) took up an initiative in six villages inhabited by landless people. These villages have poor or no access to basic infrastructure facilities like electricity and the government’s water supply systems have failed to work because of improper site selection, poor ground water quality (rich in iron content), poor quality of construction and equipment used. Given these problems, the systems fell into disuse soon after they were constructed leaving the villagers with no option but to travel to remotely located springs to obtain water for domestic use. Even this was not a solution because the water was murky. VJNNS partnered with the community to establish Gravity Flow Water Supply System (GFWS) in these villages to provide sustainable, safe water supply.
Waste water management and sanitation models were introduced and robust mechanisms for community participation were evolved to ensure operation and maintenance of the systems. Structured water quality data and information on water related issues, specific to eastern hilly part of Vishakhapatnam, was disseminated through the India Water Portal. Through this effort, the villages were able to access 24 X 7 water supply.
- Water quality testing and baseline studies were conducted.
- Awareness building workshops and community training was given on aspects of setting up and maintaining water supply systems, water quality, hygiene management etc.
- Over 2 lakh leveraged from beneficiary contribution for labour expenses towards construction of the GFWS.
- Around 5 mini-water supply projects constructed and 10 mini water supply projects revived.
- These systems are properly designed with filter units and provide 24 x 7 water supply.
- One bathroom cum toilet constructed as a model which led to adoption of household sanitation including toilets by at least 10% households.
- Three community toilets were constructed.