Over the last 2 months we have been selecting villages in Gujarat interested to set up a water shop within their village boundaries. More than 30 villages were visited, community gatherings held and discussions on the existing drinking water quality facilitated. This resulted in the selection of 10 new villages in the region north of Ahmadabad, were new water shops will be installed in the coming months.
The quality of the water provided by the Government in these villages is poor, the water is often salty and polluted with fluoride and nitrates. Inhabitants having no budget available to purchase other types of water do not have another option than just to drink the water provided. As a consequence the majority of the people suffers from skin- and stomach- and kidney problems, brittle bones, high blood pressure, etc.
Together with our Indian partners we will be delivering purified drinking water in these villages using the water shop concept developed with our Dutch partner Cordaid: Villagers pay a small amount of money (about 0,006 euro/liter) for clean safe drinking water. Payment of the water is done using a debit card that is issued to individual households. The income generated with the water sales is used to pay for local employees involved to take care of the operations and maintenance of the water shop. Part of the income is also used to pay back the loan that is obtained to install the water shops initially.
The pictures next to this text give an indication of the villages and locations selected for scaling up the water shop activities.