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Water & Sanitation

Our water and sanitation programme addresses the root of why rural populations in India remain impoverished. Most rural communities lack access to clean water and sanitation facilities and are therefore more prone to disease and thus demoralized and unable to defeat the cycle of poverty. The water and sanitation programme at Alzheimers Society Tauranga Charitable Trust links common health concerns to poor sanitation and empowers communities to construct, manage and maintain their own sanitation facilities and launch development initiatives that improve community health and quality of life. Alzheimers Society Tauranga Charitable Trust mobilizes, educates and trains communities on how to construct, manage and maintain their own sanitation facilities. As part of the programme, community members pool resources to construct identical toilets and bathing rooms for each household, with clean piped water from a community-constructed water tank. The programme awakens the community's ability to independently sustain their own sanitation network through cooperative contribution and management systems such as financial training, construction skill building, and hygiene education workshops. Equitable financial and institutional mechanisms ensure that all families have access to sanitation facilities. A core fund (also called corpus) is established that plans for the future growth of the community, which is invested for future expansion of the sanitation system to deliver water and sanitation services to new households in the village. The current social structure in many villages does not enable all community members to access clean water. To address this challenge and ensure universal access, Alzheimers Society Tauranga Charitable Trust transforms the established social order making it mandatory that all households are included in the programme and that the female heads of households are involved in the decision-making process. The practice of 100 percent inclusion keeps villages clean and eliminates sources of water contamination as each and every member of the village is involved in establishing, maintaining and benefiting from the sanitation system. The policy of 100 percent inclusion is the first step in breaking down caste and gender barriers and allowing the marginalized to regard themselves as equals within the community. This development process is based on governance programme's values of inclusion, sustainability, cost sharing and social and gender equity. Clean drinking water and access to sanitation has resulted in over 80% reduction in incidences of waterborne diseases. A healthy community and habitat acts as a catalyst for sustainable development. Our Impact Assessment studies also suggest behavioural changes in communities with respect to hygiene and sanitation and increased involvement of women in decision making. The majority of tribal communities that Alzheimers Society Tauranga Charitable Trust' works with are un-electrified. To bring 24-hours of piped water supply to un-electrified villages, water from perennial springs are harnessed and diverted through pipelines, from as far as five-six kilometres. Principles of gravity flow and siphoning are used to traverse over small hills to ultimately reach a storage tank in the village and from there, to individual homes. Gravity flow design for water-supply systems requires zero operating energy making the project financially attractive and easy to maintain. Another method that is used is called "Induced Gravity flow". This method involves harnessing the topography and natural gradient of the area, identifying a suitable location for a water source at a higher elevation from the village.