Proctor & Gamble 2014 – 2015
The partnership between Sahara Aalhad, Pune and the Proctor & Gamble Safe Water Project was initiated by Keep a Child Alive (KCA) and implemented from July 2014. The project duration was for a year and was immediately welcomed by Sahara Aalhad as the organization worked with socially excluded communities who came, primarily, from economically deprived backgrounds and who would benefit tremendously by this service.
These community clusters – Wageshwar Nagar, Khulewadi/Yerwada- consisted mainly of migrant populations who had resettled in and around Pune, and engaged in daily wage labour and the infrastructure, especially water supply was poor and more often than not had to be purchased from water mafias whose source of water supply was questionable.
Discussions between Sahara Aalhad and P & G concluded with agreements for 2 buckets, a wooden spoon for stirring, filtering cloth, a scissor for cutting the safe water packets to be given to the beneficiaries along with the P & G safe water packets at periodic intervals.
Field work was conducted to assess the situation on the ground and to sensitize the community. Demos to purify water were conducted in batches and the beneficiaries were asked to repeat them to ensure that they performed the procedure correctly. Since 1 packet purified 10 litres of water and each family consisted of an average of 4 people, a distribution plan was made based on the amount of consumption and the overall need. Beneficiaries were given boxes containing packets that lasted for 90 days before the next collection.
In these communities, water supply was mostly obtained from tankers and from local water bodies such as small man-made ponds, wells and, in some areas, a once a week piped supply by the municipality for 15 minutes. The water was usually impure with floating debris and, at times, even contained worms. This led to a high incidence of waterborne illness like diphtheria, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. These illnesses often created problems like loss of income and increased medical expenses.
With the P & G packets a marked decrease in the incidence of water borne illnesses was noted in the community. The early reservations that the people would accept the product only for the buckets, spoons and other items but this was dispelled when FGD’s and one to one interviews were conducted the community showed much appreciation. There was a huge demand by the people in the community to be enrolled in the P & G project in order to gain access to the packets and use them.
The other concern was whether these communities would change their age old behavioural patterns and embrace an alien process and method that involved a little bit of labour but they wholeheartedly accepted P & G safe water. The other good thing has been that due to P & G, Sahara Aalhad has been able to deepen and widen its roots in the community even more. It has also been able to win the trust and corporation of local key politicians and leaders through the P & G service.
In all there are 1320 registered beneficiaries in the Sahara Aalhad/P & G project.
The future is bright with Proctor & Gamble with the company near to committing to continue the project for another year and Sahara Aalhad is already geared up to implement the project having had the experience of the past year and all the lessons learned firmly in mind.
P & G Report
Proctor & Gamble 2014 – 2015