Back in November last year, we launched our Shop & Share Month promotion. The aim was to raise as much money as possible for two great causes; FRANK Water and the Indiability Foundation. For every order over £50 placed during November, we donated £5, with the total raised at the end of the month split equally between the two charities. Thanks to you, we were over the moon to be able to give both causes over £3,300 each.
As a result of our £3,300 donation, we will be directly supporting 62 people in these communities. Thanks to you, they’ll have lifelong access to safe water and improved hygiene. They’ll also have an increased awareness of sanitation as well as greater access to government funding.
We spoke to the team at FRANK Water to find out exactly how this money will be used.
Who are FRANK Water?
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know all about FRANK Water and the wonderful work they do. But if you’re not, allow us to do the introductions! A small Bristol-based charity, FRANK Water have a big vision; to ensure clean, safe drinking water and sanitation for those who are most in need. Since 2007, they have supported over 386,500 people in 442 communities by improving their lives through greater access to clean water and sanitation.
At the moment, the team are focussing on a new 6 month project to construct 2 Gravity Fed Water Systems and undertake training on hygiene and sanitation in Polambandalu and Kikkisalabanda.
Their new project
In the tribal villages in the Eastern Ghats, within the Visakhapatnam District of India, there is no access to clean, safe water. A recent study by VJNNS of more than 3,5000 villages in the region found that 70% of inhabitants are forced to rely on downstream water from springs. They use this water for all their needs, including personal washing and cleaning utensils, as well as drinking. Inhabitants further up the stream also utilise this water source for these purposes. This shared use of the water increases the risk of further contamination. Some rely on borewells and dug wells which are heavy with iron deposits. They also often dry up or flood throughout the different and often extreme seasons.
In the flatter plain areas of the region, there have been some government provisions of water via pipeline or borewell. However, the tribal villages where FRANK Water are working are considered too remote and are therefore not supported by local government schemes.
We asked the FRANK Water team to talk us through the first steps in this project:
“In both Polambandalu and Kikkisalabanda villages, the first stage will be to produce a Micro Level Plan (MLP). This MLP describes the specific situation of the village, the needs and expectations of its inhabitants. It also looks at the current water and hygiene and sanitation situation of the village.
“In order to guarantee that every member of the village is fully engaged in the project, a Village Development Committee (VDC) is formed; the VDC is made up of one representative of each family in the village (usually about 10 people). From this group, one VDC ‘core team’ member is elected who will have further training and be invited to participate in meetings with other core team members from other local communities. The VDC becomes responsible for making sure that the whole village participates in all stages of the development activities and for the monitoring and maintenance of the GFWS after completion.
“Another important role of the VDC is to set up a Village Development Fund (VDF) to ensure that every month all families in the village contribute financially. This means that funds are available for any required maintenance of the new GFWS. A strong and active VDC guarantees ownership of, and long-term sustainability, of completed water supply systems. ”
There are then a number of key project activities; facilitation and support, training and education, construction, and monitoring and evaluation. It’s important to equip the communities with the knowledge and skills required to ensure the longevity of these projects. By doing so, future generations will reap the benefits of the project.
We’re delighted to be able to be a part of this project. So, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who shopped with us during our Shop & Share month. It’s because of you that we are to make such a difference to so many lives.