Oxfam India Builds Water Solution in Disaster Prone Areas

Oxfam India Builds Water Solution in Disaster Prone Areas

In India, over one lakh people die of water-borne diseases annually. Our country faces a huge challenge in ensuring safe water supply, especially during floods. Lakhs of people last year were forced to use contaminated water for drinking or sanitation during floods causing health problems.

In Odisha, more than 90% of rural population depends on groundwater for drinking and domestic purposes and the groundwater is mainly contaminated with iron, fluoride, chloride and salinity (in coastal districts). Due to this most of the hand pumps in the rural areas became non-operational during floods and clean drinking water became unavailable for a very long period of time. During this time communities are forced to access water from ponds and river which has bacterial contamination. 

Oxfam India has implemented Disaster Risk Reduction programme in flood-prone districts in Odisha. The programme focusses on building local capacities to anticipate and prepare for natural disasters and improve the water sanitation and hygiene conditions before, during and after emergencies. The focus was to build low cost, water filtration and sanitation models to make flood resilient communities.  10 iron removal plants powered by solar energy was installed in 10 villages to ensure that potable water is available during disasters. The initiative has ensured continuous access to safe drinking water for at least 817 household and more than 4,500 people in 10 villages.

In all the villages the Village Disaster Management Committee (VDMC) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) committees played a major role by participating in the planning and maintenance of the water sources. In some areas, the communities provided labour cost and some material cost as well.  In order to ensure sustainability of the process, Oxfam India built capacities of local institutions and village-based committees. The objective was to ensure that the communities are self-dependent in managing their water resources without external help or with minimal external help during emergencies.

By the end of this project, VDMC and WASH committees will have the skills and knowledge to construct community-based water filtration units, disinfect and maintain drinking water sources and use appropriate methods of water storage and handling. Secondly, Oxfam India also ensured that only locally available resources are being used for the construction of filtration units. This way the local communities will have access to required material and resources for any construction after the implementing agencies have exited. At Oxfam India, we promote low-cost technologies which can be easily replicated through nominal community contribution at the village level. Last year, Oxfam India helped over one lakh people recover during and after disasters in India.

If you wish to donate monthly so disaster-affected families can recover and live healthier lives, click here.

Edited by Naureen Khan, Oxfam India


Humanitarian Response and DRR

Oxfam India saves lives by building the resilience of communities to disasters and conflict

Read More

Related Blogs

Humanitarian Response and DRR

27 Jun, 2013

Saving lives on sharp turning roads

Posted June 27, 2013 by Bipul Borah I am writing this while travelling on a road with sharp turnings. We are on a truck going for relief distribution to people in the affected vill...

Humanitarian Response and DRR

03 Jul, 2013

Take a pause: what do the Uttrakhand floods tell us about India’s development model?

Posted July 3, 2013 by Vanita Suneja The recent flash floods in Uttrakhand have already claimed around 1000 lives and more than 3000 people are still missing. One of the worst cala...

Humanitarian Response and DRR

16 Jul, 2014

Short term memory and Long term needs!

Earlier in June 2013, I was part of Oxfam’s emergency response operations in Uttarakhand. The state was hit by one of the worst disasters in 33 years, with thousands reported dead a...

Humanitarian Response and DRR

18 Nov, 2014

It’s all about the money

Posted Nov 18, 2014 by Pooja Parvati In the recently-concluded G20 Meet in Brisbane, Australia, US President Barrack Obama and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe committed to $4.5 billion towa...

img Become an Oxfam Supporter, Sign Up Today One of the most trusted non-profit organisations in India