Paying for safe water is investment in health: Lingamma
As a homemaker, 48-year-old Lingamma of Kuchinnapalli village in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district runs her household on a carefully drawn-out budget. All expenses are accounted for and absolutely no unnecessary expenditures. “But I have no problem in paying for the water from the RO that has been installed in the village,” she said, “It ensures we drink safe water”.
Kuchinnapalli’s residents were unaware of the quality of water that they were consuming until a few months back when a team of volunteers trained by WaterAid India tested the village bore well water and found it to be contaminated. It was then that the residents realised why there were frequent episodes of ill health among them. Complaints like stomach pain, diarrhoea, and skin rashes were common, both among adults and children.
As WaterAid continued to spread awareness on the cruciality of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to health, the people of Kuchinnapalli, including Lingamma, became eager for a solution for accessing safe drinking water. This is why when an RO filter plant was installed and was made a pay-for-use service, those like Lingamma were happy to pay for their water. The village SHG, of which she is a part, was entrusted with the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the RO plant, including handling the finances.
“My health, my family’s health is no longer at risk because of contaminated water. I can now breathe easy thinking that each time we sip water we are not risking our health,” Lingamma said, “Moreover, the RO plant is right in front of our house. So it is very accessible too.”