Because the health benefits of safe water are not apparent to many living in poverty, making the case for why someone should pay a nominal amount when there are free contaminated sources readily available is an obstacle that must be overcome. Doing it cost-effectively and quickly adds to the complexity of taking such a program to scale.
With the help of Merck Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Dialogue Factory and IMRB, we conducted consumer research to understand why many continue to rely on unsafe sources of water. We determined that reliability, convenience, taste and affordability were all factors that contributed to trial and adoption. From this analysis, the team took the following actions:
This groundbreaking program was rolled out in 2013 and significantly increased the trial and adoption of safe water across all of our community-led sites in Telangana. The campaign was recognized by the Rural Marketing Association of India for its innovative approach, winning three Rural Marketing Flame Awards for its effectiveness and innovative use of technology.
A significant and sustained customer base is fundamental to the successful long-term operation of a locally owned and managed Safe Water Station. When enough households buy water, the Safe Water Station can keep the price low enough for it to be affordable. This also generates the money to cover operating costs as well as to properly maintain the system so that safe water can flow for generations to come.
This cost-effective program can now be easily replicated and will help new sites accelerate the trial and adoption of safe water throughout a community. This innovation also demonstrated the power of collaboration. This program involved the participation of organizations from the private and public sectors, as well as local and regional governments.
In 2014, the campaign will be adopted across all Safe Water Stations in India. This approach will be adapted for use in Ghana later in the year. IMRB will continue to conduct local research to determine the longer-term impact of the campaigns as well as the health impact of sustained safe water usage.
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Campaign to Increase Safe Water Usage Wins Three Awards
To learn more about how you can help us communicate the benefits of safe water usage contact Poonam Sewak.