National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD), India’s apex bank for rural credit and development, funded a pilot site in Telangana through the “Rural Innovation fund” set up in NABARD to test two key aspects of Safe Water Network’s approach to locally owned and managed water systems: the Remote Monitoring System and the development of a financial product through Watershed Development Committees. The initiative included an impact study to determine the benefits of providing safe water to a village in need.

This pilot represents our first project with this esteemed Indian institution. The safe water station was built in village Galigudem, Mandal (Block) Kondurg, District Mahabubnagar, where a Watershed Development project is already underway with financial support from NABARD.

Working with a community-based organization (CBO) such as Watershed Development Committee (or later, with Primary Agriculture Credit Societies), Safe Water Network is developing a financial product in conjunction with NABARD. The CBOs will eventually own and govern the Safe Water Station and repay the credit as these types of organizations are local and trusted.

Established in 1982 by the Government of India, NABARD promotes and provides credit to institutions, companies and entrepreneurs focused on agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts. Its mandate is to support rural economic activity that improves the livelihoods of the population and can be sustained over time. It also provides assistance to the government and other organizations on rural development issues. NABARD has established a mission to leverage modern technology to achieve rapid developments in agriculture and related fields to secure rural prosperity.

“NABARD brings a depth of experience, credibility and financial knowledge that will complement the network of established CBOs involved with this pilot. The learning from this work will provide key components to a model that we can take to scale through CBOs.”
Ravi Sewak, India Director, Safe Water Network