We Are Water Foundation comes to India, pledges to fight open defecation

By IANS
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Global foundation 'We Are Water', which works towards solving water and sanitation problems, has opened its account in India with a project to make the country open defecation free.

The 'Shauchalaya Apna, Bitiya ka Sapna' is directed at protecting the integrity of Indian women by providing them with basic sanitation facilities.

As an initiative of Roca, the foundation was set up in 2010 to resolve problems caused by the lack of water and sanitation in the world and it has been collaborating with NGOs and UN agencies. On their official website, the foundation states its objective to be the development of "projects that guarantee access to water and sanitation in the most disadvantaged areas of the planet".

The foundation also aims "to promote a new water culture that allows the sustainable management of water resources around the world and guarantees the universal human right to access to the water and sanitation needed for a dignified and healthy life".

The foundation says it runs 30 projects involving about 4 lakh individuals across 17 countries. "It has helped transform more than 400,000 lives in 18 countries so far with 30 active projects and yet spreading its wings for more," Managing Director of Roca, K.E Ranganathan told IANS.

He said that the recent programmes initiated by We Are Water include construction of 44,000 toilets in more than 400 villages in the Anantapur and Kurnool districts.

"We have so far achieved 40 percent completion and are aiming successful completion of the project by October this year," Ranganathan said.

"In Bhiwadi, we reached out to 1,050 individuals through 210 household latrines. The project focuses on the construction of sanitation facilities, with the necessary conditions of healthiness, hygiene, and safety for all beneficiaries," he added.

"Through 'Sauchalaya Apna, Bitiya ka Sapna' campaign, we will embark on our mission of building toilet blocks for women and girl child, at home and schools," he explained.