PepsiCo Foundation partners with WaterAid India to promote sustainable access to clean water and sanitation facilities in West Bengal
Kolkata, 24 May 2022: PepsiCo Foundation in partnership with WaterAid India has initiated the ‘Access to Safe Water’ project in West Bengal, providing clean water access to high-water-risk communities in the districts of Purba Bardhaman, Bankura, and Hooghly. The project will positively impact the health, security, and hygiene of local residents.
The prime objective of this project is to benefit close to 200,000 people directly and indirectly, by mid-2024. Initiatives that are planned over the coming months include providing adequate access to safe drinking water in households; improved hygiene and sanitation practices; reduced groundwater depletion through water conservation and recharge and establishing suitable water quality monitoring systems. Besides this, the project also aims to ensure significant awareness of water, health, and sanitation (WASH) issues, scaling up and replicating models outside the project villages/communities.
Through this partnership, WaterAid India will provide communities with sustainable access to safe & clean drinking water and to facilitate the adoption of better hygiene practices.
Key achievements to date:
- Access to safe drinking water at the household level - 30 piped water supply systems installed in 800+ households in West Bengal, providing access to safe and reliable drinking water to over 3,500 people.
- Hand-pumps are one of the main drinking water sources for communities in villages in West Bengal. Over 100 hand pumps (across three districts) have been restored and retrofitted with a platform, drainage, and soak pits. This has directly benefitted approximately 8,000 people with improved access to safe drinking water. Additionally, water user committees have been formed as part of establishing robust operation and maintenance systems.
- Inclusive access to WASH - Inclusivity is a key component of the project. Over 100 people who are differently-abled have been identified to understand the specific requirements of persons with disabilities (PWDs) for making design modifications in the toilets.
- Improved hygiene and sanitation practices in target communities – More than 200 people have gained access to 50+ functional toilets in their homes.
A need assessment study was conducted by WaterAid India in the identified villages in these three districts of West Bengal to understand the pressing challenges faced by families. This assessment will serve as a baseline to guide efforts and to be able to track change during the course of this project. The findings from the baseline study further revealed that across all three districts, almost 58.8 percent people fetched water from far-off sources for their daily needs during lean & peak summer months and about 19.5% of households had access to safe drinking water at home. In terms of access to basic sanitation facilities, nearly 20% of families didn’t have access to toilets and about 18.5% of families had shared toilets.
The “Access to Safe Water” project is not just about providing water and sanitation facilities to farmers and the community. Hygiene promotion messaging among adolescent girls and women has been a key component for this project. About 550 adolescent girls and women have been trained on sustainable menstrual hygiene management. Community-level hygiene promotion sessions on personal hygiene; environmental hygiene; water and food hygiene have been regularly organized in all the intervention villages. About 6,300 people were reached through this exercise between mid-2021 to date. This number included 3,800 children. Training and awareness programs have been organized to make WASH programs more accessible and inclusive for everyone in the community. To improve hygiene and sanitation practices toilets are being retrofitted.
About WaterAid India
WaterAid is a not-for-profit organization, determined to make clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere. Since 1986, WaterAid India has successfully implemented water, sanitation, and hygiene projects to transform the lives of the poor and the most marginalized. In India, WaterAid is present in 12 States. In 2020-21, WaterAid India reached over 3,59,751 people with access to clean water, 17,970 with decent toilets, and over 98,217 people with good hygiene education.
About The PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we’re focused on helping alleviate hunger, managing water, and waste responsibly, and supporting women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance.
More about WaterAid
WaterAid is an international nonprofit working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a reality for everyone, everywhere within a generation. WaterAid works in more than 30 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water, 28 million people with decent toilets and 26 million people with good hygiene.
- 750 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.
- Two billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
- Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
Every $2 invested in water and toilets returns an average of $8 in increased productivity.