University campaign provides clean drinking water for Indian vil


A Loughborough University campaign to raise money from the sale of bottled water to provide clean drinking water for a remote Indian village has been a major success.

imago, the University's in-house catering provider and events and conference organiser, launched its 'Raindrops for life' campaign across the Loughborough campus in 2007. The campaign, in partnership with the University's Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) and the National Forest Spring Water Company Ltd, saw profits from the sale of imago's 'Fuel' branded water ploughed into the 'Chaidipura Rural Water Supply and Hygiene Promotion Project' Led by voluntary organisation Vasudha Vikas Sansthan (VVS), the project was set up to provide clean water and improved sanitation for the village of Chaidipura. Situated at the foothills of the Vindhyachal Valley, the village is home to around 220 people. Its main source of drinking water is a hand pump, which runs dry in the summer, and the alternative is a stream located 2km away from the village forcing women and children to walk long distances several times a day to collect water. Disease is also a major issue in the village as no water is treated before drinking and water storage containers are not covered. This is made worse by the absence of toilet facilities and a poor understanding of the importance of personal hygiene. Thanks to the 'Raindrops for life' campaign conditions in Chaidipura have been vastly improved. Four rain water collection tanks have been constructed, which provide clean drinking water for up to 30 families and the village school. A sanitation and hygiene education programme has also been completed and representatives of Chaidipura have received training in how to maintain the tanks. Speaking about the improvements the village leader Kanheya lal Bhagat said: "Now we will never face any drinking water problem in future, we will collect the rain water in the tanks. Thanks to imago and Vasudha for giving this remarkable thing to us." Duncan Cressall, Operations Director for imago Services, added: "We are absolutely delighted that funds raised at the University have played such an important part in improving the quality of lives for the residents of Chaidipura. Ultimately staff, students and visitors who supported the 'Raindrops for life' campaign have helped save lives in the village by providing clean drinking water - I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this important initiative." For further information about the project visit: http://campuslife.lboro.ac.uk/environment/water/

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