India currently ranks 129th according to the Human Development Index 2019 (HDI value: 0.647; rank 129/189). The country faces several water challenges – ranging from flooding and water scarcity to lack of safe water access at a household level. In 2018, India reported 15.6 million cases and 2,400 deaths due to diseases primarily caused by biological contamination of water. The economic cost of these waterborne diseases is estimated to be USD 600 million annually (World Bank Report, 2017). The main drinking water sources for the project beneficiaries are open wells and tube wells/borewells.
In 2018, HELIOZ started a safe water programme to benefit the Korku tribe in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in collaboration with the local implementation partner Caritas India. Currently 924 households (5,174 beneficiaries) benefit from safe water through Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) with WADI. In addition, 6 Anganwadis (rural childcare centre) were trained and integrated in the project to provide continuous support and safe water to attending women and children. Prior to the project, households mainly depended on boiling water, filtration or the flocculant alum for water treatment. The current assessment has highlighted that 99 % of households that used to boil water have stopped the practice and switched to the more environmentally friendly WADI technology.
Implementation Partners: Caritas India and two grassroot organizations (KDSS, DSC)
The project targets the scheduled Korku tribe and pays particular focus on groups with a higher risk for contracting waterborne diseases: households with malnourished children, pregnant/lactating mothers and/or adolescent girls, Anganwadi centres and schools.
Health and Wellbeing
Waterborne diseases are closely linked to other health problems like malnutrition, making children more susceptible to the diseases and its fatal consequences. The comparative assessment has shown strong impact of WADI on the reduction of waterborne diseases. While 72 % of non-users have suffered from a waterborne disease in the last 12 months, leading to medical costs of up to 2000 Rs. (27 USD) per treatment, WADI users benefit from an improved health situation. 91 % of the beneficiaries had no incidence of waterborne diseases since using WADI with every second interviewee highlighting the strong positive influence SODIS/WADI had on reducing their health care expenses within 12 months.
„Before using the WADI device, we were spending a lot of money treating waterborne diseases, but now they [comm: the family members] get less sick and never complained about diarrheal incidences.” Harichard Motilal Sarvekar, Kekdabod (MH)
Harichard shared that previously frequent incidences of diarrhea affected the health and economic situation of the family. His 3-year old grandson Asha lost significant weight and was categorized as “moderately malnourished” by the Anganwadi workers. In the last 12 months the family saved around 1600 rupees (21,7 USD) in medical costs and used the saved money on family necessities, especially nutritious food for the children.
924 household switched to water treatment with SODIS and WADI. In the reporting period, 72 percent of households are using WADI every day (5-7/week) and 23 percent every 3-4 days/week, disinfecting an average 13,4 litres of water per day.
“I have noticed an obvious improvement in the health of my Anganwadi children. There is a drastic reduction in the waterborne diseases which was often countered when the children spend time in the centre. I am happy that disinfecting the water with WADI does not change the taste of the water and also helps to avoid use of chemicals.” Soganti Bethekar, Anganwadi worker, Kekdabod (MH)
The majority of users (96 %) have chosen WADI as their preferred treatment method; the main reasons given for the high satisfaction are that WADI can be easily transported (88 %), needs no batteries/electricity (83 %) and is environmentally friendly (79 %).
Method of Assessment: The impact report is based on a comparative quantitative survey on household level with WADI users (n=264) and WADI no-users (n= 60) implemented until 08/2020 and reports by the implementation partner Caritas India.
- 5,174 beneficiaries (924 x 5,6)| 924 Koku households
- 4.5 Mio. liters of disinfected water / year (924 x 13,4 x 365)
- 91 % of beneficiaries experienced reduction in waterborne diseases
- Up to 27 USD / year household savings due to reduced medical costs
Input | Output
- 924 WADIs
- 2 FTE positions established in India (community facilitators)
- 68 WASH trainings / year
- 84 WASH awareness programmes
- 6 Anganwadis & 2 schools