Hyderabad, March 21 (IANS) Safe Water Network (SWN) and Honeywell India on Monday announced the launch of the 25th Honeywell-funded iJal safe water station in Telangana to mark the World Water Day.
Built over the last year, these 25 safe water stations are located in Karimnagar, Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam, and Nalgonda districts, all in Telangana and serve about 94,000 people in areas that lack safe drinking water.
The Honeywell-Safe Water Network initiative addresses a critical need in the region that suffers groundwater contamination from high levels of fluoride. Water and sanitation-related illnesses account for 70-80 percent of diseases in this area, said a statement from SWN.
“Honeywell is committed to creating truly lasting solutions for sustainability challenges facing communities around the globe. That is why we are proud to partner with Safe Water Network,” said Honeywell India president Anant Maheshwari.
Honeywell is deeply invested in Telangana, where it has a state-of-the-art, global technology development centre spread over a 10-acre campus in Hyderabad and employs approximately 900 local engineers, among them volunteers who participate in the Honeywell-Safe Water Network programme to raise awareness about safe drinking water in the region.
The Safe Water Network model has been successful because its water systems are owned, operated, and maintained by local communities, and report less than 2 percent downtime, said the statement.
Within 24 months of operation, 90 percent of stations are independent of ongoing subsidies for continued operations, technical support and maintenance. Safe Water Network works with supporters like Honeywell to demonstrate that large-scale impact can be achieved on a cost-effective and sustainable basis.
“Safe Water Network applies a business-like approach to a social problem, developing locally-owned water businesses for those beyond the reach of large infrastructure projects, and providing affordable safe drinking water to those most in need,” said its country director Ravi Sewak.
Safe Water Network India has commissioned 125 iJal water stations, bringing affordable, safe water access to more than 430,000 people in Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. In doing so, it has also trained more than 500 local village youth and women in the region, creating sustainable livelihoods for them.
Ultimately, Safe Water Network aims to build 300 iJal safe water stations, providing access to 900,000 people by 2018.