Retrieved from: SafeWaterNetwork.org
“Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Safe Water Network, announced the launch of a three−year, $1.5M partnership to increase access to safe water and reduce the impact of water-borne disease among impoverished communities in Andhra Pradesh, India.
This initiative addresses a critical need in India where an estimated 70 − 80 percent disease is related to water contamination and poor sanitation, and where more than 120,000 children under the age of five die each year from rotavirus diarrhea alone.
“India faces significant water and sanitation challenges. Seventy−five percent of the country’s surface water is contaminated by human, agricultural and industrial waste, while half of the country’s population lacks access to basic sanitation. Those living in urban slums and rural environments are most affected. In many areas of the country, a growing dependence on groundwater for drinking is associated with a rise in health problems due to fluoride, salinity, water-borne pathogens, nitrate and other contaminants found in the water. In Andhra Pradesh, only 31 percent of households treat their water before use, and 43 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, a common result of frequent episodes of diarrhea.
This joint effort draws on Safe Water Network’s field experience in India, Ghana and Kenya to address the operational, economic, cultural and environmental challenges to safe water access. The team will apply a rigorous method to data collection and analysis to produce effective demand generation and education methods that can be replicated at scale throughout India.
The initiative will add a dozen sites to Safe Water Network’s existing field projects in Andhra Pradesh, which already provide nearly 40,000 people access to clean water. The additional sites will provide safe water access to another 20,000 – 30,000 people. Each phase of the initiative will be documented, including the data on health outcomes. Key findings will be shared with the water and sanitation sector as well as other organizations to help them address the global water crisis.”
Read more: Safe Water Network