WASH-US : Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Urban Slums

Community governance for water sanitation in Kolkata slums: a change delivered by SAFE through the HSBC Water Programme


Location : Kolkata

Objectives : To provide urban poor safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, using non-conventional, renewable energy.

Target group : The programme impacts the lives of over 14000 urban poor slum dwellers who are receivers of the project facilities surviving at the bottom of the economic pyramid and ensures 24*7 supply of drinking water to nearly 2500 slum households.

Innovation : WASH-US, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Urban Slums is a unique projectcompletely based on green technology that deals with an integrated community based intervention on water and sanitation issues in urban slums, the facility titled as WASH-US provides a solar run water treatment plant performing on harvested surface water in adjacent water body with a production capacity of 10 thousand litres WHO standard drinking water per day. In urban slums humans thrive in utter unhygienic conditions, problems includes terrible water crisis, open defecation, notable fact is 67% percent suffer from water borne diseases, most vulnerable are women and children.

An innovative HSBC Water Programme funded project - Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Urban Slums (WASH-US) is using 'water ATMS' to supply safe water and sanitation to 570 households in the Kalikapur Slum in Kolkata. Partnering with South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE), solar powered water treatment plants are used to deliver drinking water on a 24X7 basis to the communities. In addition, sanitation units along with bio-gas units have been set up. The biogas units use the refuse from the sanitation units to generate energy which is used for providing mid-day meals to the school children in the slum.





Outcome :

  1. Reduction in infections and water borne diseases by 87% in the community, rendering a cost cut of 35% on average in medical expenses.
  2. Equitable access to water energy and sanitation to above 14,000 beneficiaries at the bottom of the economic pyramid and 24X7 supply of drinking water to nearly 2500 slum households in a year.
  3. Women are saving up to four hours a day, as they don't have to fetch water, which they can dedicate to looking after their families or employment.
  4. 4327 women mainstreamed in WASH program through financial inclusion and micro insurance coverage with capacity building for 650 women for alternative livelihood.
  5. Avoidance of emission equivalent to 3078MT of CO2eq by using new energy, water budgeting and solid waste management.
  6. 97% community concurrence in sustainable use and wise governance on water and energy, as evidenced from attitude scaling survey.
  7. The solar water treatment plant and the lights in the community sanitation areas have a carbon offset equivalent of 280 metric tons per year.This model has been replicated by the World Bank and has been implemented in North East India.