This post was originally posted on the Ripple Effect blog by Acumen Fund’s Sangeeta Chowdry – Ripple Effect Project Manager.
Ripple Effect team presenting at the conference
The Ripple Effect team marked the end of the successful India phase of the project by attending and presenting at the recently concluded Water Summit 2009 conference held in New Delhi.
The summit had an excellent turnout with over 150 attendees and speakers representing multiple stakeholders from the water sector in India. These included senior representatives from the Government of India, NGOs, World Economic Forum, UNDP, USAID, SDC, private sector, as well as various State Water Boards and financial institutions.
An introduction to the Ripple Effect project was made by Acumen Fund and IDEO, followed by presentations from four of the organizations running the pilot projects – Jal Bhagirathi Foundation, Naandi Foundation, Piramal Foundation and Water Health India.
All the presentations were very well received by the attendees, who also provided valuable feedback to us. In particular, the technology based work of Piramal and Naandi was complimented by several members of the audience. It was mentioned that while similar ideas had been implemented elsewhere, (eg. by Mother Dairy in India), this approach had not been tested in the water sector until now. One audience member commented that successful projects like they had seen within the Ripple Effect, should be linked to the public sector through policy interventions, in order to reach even greater scale. Yet another, from an international NGO, suggested starting a Ripple Effect like project in sanitation.
Jal Bhagirathi water outlet
During the pilot presentations, Jal Bhagirathi spoke of the successes it had achieved through their public-private-community partnerships model. Their reverse osmosis plant was now selling water to newly established remote water outlets, owned and managed by the community members. The project resulted in improved availability of safe drinking water while providing opportunities for livelihood generation for the women in the village. As a result of this project, the volume of water sold from their reverse osmosis plant, had increased from an average 2000 liters a day to 12,000 liters per day. The location of the outlets had resulted in reducing the distance of access to water from 2 km to under 0.5 km for the community.