Habitat Observatory

    Efforts in Providing Good Quality Water to Rural Andhra Pradesh

For years the people of Vinjinampadu village in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, suffered from serious health problems, such as diarrhoea, joint pains, typhoid and frequent bouts of fever. The water available in the village was not potable, the local pond's filter system had fallen into disuse, the overhead tank that supplied water to homes was outdated and the groundwater contained alarming levels of fluoride and chlorine. However, with the help of World Health International (WHI), the situation has been brought under control and the cases of Diarrhoea have reduced drastically in the District.

The governance with the help of the company helped the remote and underserved communities get access to safe drinking water by involving the community in setting up low-cost water purification plants. However, it is not a social service organisation and customers pay for the water they use. Water processed at the plants is sold at the rate of INR 2 for 12 litres and INR 3 for 20 litres. One single plant has the capacity to cater 6,000-7,000 customers. 10,000-12,000 litres of water are consumed every day.

The plants employ Ultra Violet Waterworks (UVW), a patented, award-winning technology that uses an ultra violet light source, suspended in air, to inactivate a broad range of micro-organisms. UVW delivers a high dose of ultra violet light that inactivates micro-organisms through disruption of their DNA processes. When organisms try to replicate, they die. In addition, a multi-stage filtration process removes silt, taste and smells, converting contaminated water into clean, potable water.

The community is necessarily a financial stakeholder: it contributes 30-45 per cent of the plant's cost. In most villages, the panchayat has paid the contribution; in a few cases it has been provided by a private donor in the village. The plant occupies around 150 square metres of land and is usually located near a water source. Due to the plant, some employment is generated - for one or two operators, village health workers, a driver and a helper for delivery of water. A lot of work is done before setting up a plant; health considerations are paramount.

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    Brighter futures using solar power systems

The elongated hours of darkness in Peru which is closer to the equator can be taken over by solar power by providing sustainable light. The inhabitants of this place suffer from the high cost kerosene lamps which also sometimes become unaffordable.

If a Quechuan family wants light in their home during the long hours of darkness, they use candles or kerosene lamps. Both are very expensive for poor. Kerosene lamps also give off sulphur dioxide and other toxic substances as they burn - which contribute to heart and lung diseases. By helping them fit a solar panel to the roof of their house, we can give a family a free and renewable source of light and power, providing both light and an important link with the outside world.

But the use of this device helped the members to reduce their cost as well as stay away from different diseases that could be caused by the excessive intake of sulphur dioxide.

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