This area of Uttar Pradesh is a hotspot for the arsenic contamination of groundwater, putting people at a high risk of arsenic poisoning.
The project therefore aims to mitigate the issue through the provision of improved water supplies and community empowerment, by awareness generation and capacity building. The contaminated water sources will be monitored regularly using field testing kits. The project will also open up dialogue with government agencies on the issue of arsenic contamination, and Inner Voice Foundation (IVF) will work closely with the state government.
- A baseline survey conducted in the project villages to understand the extent of arsenic contamination and its effects on the health and livelihoods of the communities. A detailed report will be prepared after the survey.
- The implementation of safe drinking water options in 4 villages (Vabhnauli and Mirchai in Bhojpur district and Jharkatahan and Hariharpur in Ballia district) will be done after the baseline survey. The nature of intervention will depend on the baseline survey results.
- A series of meetings with community, GP, schools, doctors, etc. to inform them about arsenic issues and seek their support on the project work.
- An awareness generation programmes, in which posters, pamphlets, handbills, and wall paintings on the harmful effects of arsenic and its mitigation methods will be prepared. These programmes will be carried out in all the 10 project villages.
- Testing of water samples using field-testing kits will be done in all the 10 villages, and a database of the results and findings will be prepared. A comprehensive report will be prepared out of these results for future action research and advocacy.
- Biological sample testing, such as nail, hair, urine and blood testing, will be done in order to bring about awareness among the communities on the extent of harm caused by arsenic contamination in drinking water. In addition, the data will be compiled in the form of a report for future action research and advocacy.
- The Inner Voice Foundation staff will undergo training on arsenic issues at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.