In 2021, Manga, a widowed mother of two teenage daughters from the Batasingaram village outside of Hyderabad, India, did not have a toilet or clean water connection in her home. She would walk about a mile each day, and even at night, to her sister’s home, to use the bathroom and fill containers with water for cooking and drinking. With the support from global nonprofit Water.org, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and a local partner, Manga received a microloan to install a toilet and water tap in her home. This saves her time which enables her to earn more income for her family, ensures the safety of her daughters at night, and allows her to proudly provide an important resource for her family.
Manga is one of more than 250,000 people across India who have benefited from programs by Water.org and WaterAid in collaboration with AWS to support access to water and sanitation in local communities where AWS operates. Water community projects like these are especially important in India, which has a population of 1.38 billion people. More than 6% of India’s population lacks access to safe water according to Water.org. In addition, about 15% of India’s population also lacks household water connections and toilets, which contributes to waterborne illnesses, malnourishment, and death. To compound matters, millions continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes access to safe water even more critical for families’ health in India.
“These projects provide 500 million liters of water annually to people who previously lacked consistent access to clean water. With reliable access to water, health is improved, kids stay in school, income increases, and opportunities for women and girls expand," said Michael Mayernik, Water.org head of corporate partnerships. "Water is the way to break the cycle of poverty, to protect and save lives, and to make a more equitable future possible."
Since 2020, AWS, Water.org, and WaterAid have led water programs in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. Over 210,000 people have benefited from AWS’s collaboration with Water.org across the three states through microfinance loans that help nearby communities finance water pipe connections and toilet installations in homes. An additional 40,000 people in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have benefitted from AWS’s collaboration with WaterAid through rainwater harvesting projects, groundwater recharge systems, piped water installations, and community-awareness programs.
“Support provided by AWS to Water.org has enabled long-lasting, climate-resilient water and sanitation solutions for over 210,000 people in Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.”
How the programs work
In Maharashtra, Water.org works with the Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), which is the State Women's Development Corporation of the Government of Maharashtra, to market water supply and sanitation (WSS) loan products. To date, the various field activities with MAVIM have reached more than 130,000 people in Maharashtra. This includes WSS training and raising awareness in communities about loans for products such as accessible family toilets and rooftop rainwater harvesting systems. In 2021, Water.org and MAVIM also installed community water purification plants in Thelegaon and Deurwada villages, in India, where each plant can provide clean water for up to 150 families.
In Hyderabad, WaterAid has constructed multiple rainwater harvesting structures in schools and community institutions to increase access to water for community members. In the Zilla Parishad High School of Venkateswaranagar, Jagadgirigutta in Hyderabad, WaterAid constructed a 12,000-liter storage tank with separate compartments for rainwater and municipal water, two handwashing stations, and a recharge system for excess rainwater and runoff. This benefits more than 820 students and their teachers.
“To date, our project has benefitted over 23,000 people in Hyderabad with rainwater harvesting structures,” said WaterAid Chief Executive in India VK Madhavan. “With support from AWS, communities in and around Hyderabad are now benefitting from the awareness-raising campaigns and newly constructed infrastructure to progress towards a water-positive future.”
Water is a precious resource, and AWS is committed to having a positive presence in the communities where we operate around the world. These safe water programs in India are critical to families and local communities. High-impact and scalable programs like these help ensure AWS has a positive impact on water availability where we operate.