Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Water to Development Project

Posted by Chris on October 12, 2007

watching the well in actionI mentioned this twice already; once in description of IITD and when I was promoting the income generating activities of the SHGs. Now, more information on the project itself after witnessing it in Kakdwip last Tuesday.

It is the government’s responsibility to provide safe drinking water. And for the families using this tubewell, there was water, only it was several kilometers away. Women had to walk 30 minutes each way, several times a day, carrying large vessels of water. The well was very busy and there were often arguments and a long line.

IITD offered to build them this well but not to maintain it or replace it. To facilitate these two activities they formed a Tubewell Management Committee (TMC) which collected Rs 100 from each of the 70 member families initially and now collects an additional Rs 3 (so 7000 initial investment and 210 monthly). The TMC consists of mothers and receives advisory help from IITD as well as a gentleman who gave his land for the well (he also gave me my first coconut to drink its milk; turns out I’m not a big fan).

The TMC meets monthly and has elected officers of President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Treasurer enlists the help of others in collecting the monthly fees and gives a report at each meeting. If there are any maintenance issues these are discussed as well. The savings is tracked in a passbook and maintenance performed is kept in a separate notebook. After covering the water issues, the TMC moves on to greater issues in the community. IITD, through trainings, has empowered them not only to discuss but to respond to health and social issues. So if some are suffering from diahrreah, they will brainstorm about the cause and risk to greater community. If a child marriage is planned, they will confront the family or notify authorities. If government services are made available, such as a vaccination, they will mobilize the community to go and receive.

Additionally, IITD selects one or two members and takes them to leadership trainings.

All but one of the TMC members that were present are in SHGs, and I have already discussed their activities. A real connection has been formed between IITD and the TMC and the community. This was evident by a side comment made by one women commenting on the vegetarian diet of the IITD executive director—he has visited often enough that she remembers.

the sign on the well

woman pumping

still pumping

he was using the water to bathe

learning about the W2D project

at the tubewell mgmt committee meeting


2 Responses to “Water to Development Project”

  1. BTira said

    It’s amazing to actually see you in the pictures, Chris… it’s really hitting me that you are there… wow. Who is the female at the table (is she the doctor from Northern India that you blogged about previously?)

  2. yes, that is Dr Tina

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