October 21, 2014

First India Sector Review Released at 3rd Annual Beyond the Pipe India Forum

Safe Water Network in association with the Merck FoundationPepsiCo FoundationBHEL and Pentair, held its third annual International ‘Beyond the Pipe’ Forum in Hyderabad, India, October 10, 2014.

Building on the success of last year’s event in New Delhi that brought together India’s key water-sector stakeholders, this year’s forum focused on Partnering for Sustainable Scale in Community Safe Water Solutions. The event explored the potential for Public-Private Partnerships to address the safe-water needs of the many millions of families residing in the state of Telangana.

Participants included representatives from the Telangana government, Community Safe Water Solution (CSWS) implementers, corporations, Public Sector Undertakings (government-owned entities/PSUs) and civil society (NGOs).

The keynote address was delivered by the Hon’ble Sri (Dr.) Thatikonda Rajaiah, Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana. He spoke about the government’s policy objectives towards encouraging social and private sector participation in expanding safe water access to improve the health of citizens. He noted the positive impact safe water has on a community’s health and he encouraged the implementation of more awareness programs to improve people’s knowledge about how safe water reduces disease.

The valedictory address was delivered by the Minister of IT and Panchayat Raj & IT, Mr. K.T. Rama Rao. In his speech he stated that providing safe water to those in need was the State government’s number one priority and emphasized the Government’s commitment to providing household connections to all.

The half-day event included two break-out sessions and a presentation on Safe Water Network’s India Sector Review: Community Safe Water Solutions. This report, officially released at the Forum, was the culmination of a year-long initiative comprised of extensive research into the need for community-based solutions in rural India. Led by Safe Water Network, in collaboration with our knowledge partners, AccentureTata Strategic Management Group, the report was underwritten by a grant from Merck Foundation. 

CSWS leaders from eHealthpoint, Naandi, Waterlife and Waterhealth India, each with initiatives highlighted in the India Sector Review, and part of a Forum panel, addressed the need to find solutions that can scale sustainably. 

Other speakers at Safe Water Network’s Beyond the Pipe Forum included additional representatives from the Government of Telangana, NABARD, PepsiCo, Accenture, Naandi Foundation, Sarjaval, Waterlife India, USAID, and NIRD.

The valedictory address was delivered by the Minister of Panchayat Raj and IT, Mr. K. T. Rama Rao. In his speech he stated that providing safe water was the State government’s number one priority and emphasized the Government’s commitment to providing household connections to all.

Next Steps

In the concluding session the following was identified as appropriate next steps Forum participants could take to continue the momentum:

  • Continuing the open dialogue among CSWS implementers through workshops and convenings and develop opportunities to share knowledge and further advance the sector together.
  • Continue to work with the Government, an essential partner, in assuring sustainability and an appropriate enabling environment
  • Further develop approaches to tap into available funding to scale CSWSs, working in collaboration with financial institutions such as NABARD
  • Expand the scope and coverage of the India Sector Review to include additional CSWS participants, dive deeper on certain topics, e.g., technology, and expand the scope beyond the Rural Sector, e.g., to include urban informal settlements.

These collective efforts will create the foundation for our 2015 Sector Review and Forum.

To access Forum materials and more coverage click here. To contact someone at Safe Water Network about upcoming Forums or to obtain more details about the India Sector Review:

New Delhi: Poonam Sewak
New York: Amanda Gimble

 

Vivek Bharati, Executive Director, PepsiCo India
“We knew the drinking water problem was vast, and that decentralized water systems were providing safe water to some communities, but the India Sector Review illustrates in detail how CSWSs can play a larger role in solving India’s water challenges, as well as identifies the hurdles still to overcome.”