The 100 million people in India lacking access to safe water are faced with a number of challenges. Nearly 75% of India’s surface water is contaminated by human, animal, agricultural and industrial waste, and its groundwater often contains high levels of fluoride and other mineral contaminants. Water and sanitation-related illnesses account for 70-80% of the country’s disease. Water scarcity during periods of drought, lack of education, and the sheer number of people in extreme poverty adds to the complexity. Progress towards addressing these issues is hampered by poor execution and a lack of support at the local level. Many of India’s rural water systems fail because of issues surrounding source sustainability and water quality. Inadequate operational controls and maintenance programs result in communities that lack the skills to manage their water systems, further compounding the complexity of India's water issues.
To increase and sustain demand for safe water, we created the iJal brand. iJal means “My Water” in Hindi and represents “a healthy tomorrow.” The iJal brand is now trusted in communities where our Safe Water Stations are located and is generating interest from surrounding villages. Today in India, all of our Safe Water Stations are branded with the iJal mark.
In collaboration with local, national and international partners, our India team is overseeing an iJal expansion program to demonstrate the potential for replication of our model at scale. Our expansion plans include cost-effective technical support and an affordable supply chain for clusters of iJal Stations located in geographic proximity.
Safe Water Network is a Liaison Office of Safe Water Network, USA in India. Established in April, 2011, it liaises with and provides technical and supervisory support to agencies that deliver safe, affordable drinking water in India.