U.S. Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma visits State-of-the-Art WaterHealth Center

U.S. Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma visits State-of-the-Art WaterHealth Center
Ambassador Verma interacting with children at the water center.
U.S. Consulate, Chennai

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Neha Khator
91 11 24198000

U.S. Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma today visited a state-of-the-art WaterHealth Center at Lingarajpuram, Bengaluru. He later spoke with people in the surrounding neighborhoods who benefit from this U.S.-supported project.

Visiting the Center, U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma said, “It’s heartening to see how these new WaterHealth Centers are transforming communities by improving family health, work attendance, reducing school absenteeism, and improving the overall quality of life. So far, the U.S. Government has supported the establishment of nine active Clean Water Centers, each serving at least 350 households per day. We are poised to support the Municipal Corporation and its partner, WaterHealth India, to scale up these water centers from nine wards to 25 by May 2016, with a goal of eventually serving all of the wards in Bengaluru.”

In Lingarajpuram and surrounding areas, water supply was previously intermittent and unclean: today, all of the neighborhood’s 8,000 households have access to clean drinking water. Families are now able to purchase clean water at one-sixth the cost (Rs 5 for 20 litres) they previously paid to procure water from the retail market.

Inside the WaterHealth Center, raw water pumped from ground water sources undergoes a six-stage treatment process using a state-of-the-art purification system. Afterwards, the water that pours from four spouts outside the Center meets the World Health Organization’s global standards. Vikas Shah, Chief Operating Officer, WaterHealth International, is excited to demonstrate the impact of this innovative system. “The Ambassador’s visit to the WaterHealth Center highlights the importance of providing safe drinking water to the urban poor,” he explained. “Building on this partnership with USAID and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), WaterHealth ultimately plans to scale up its footprint and provide safe water to over 100 million people in India by 2020. In the future, we plan to partner with various other urban local bodies in Karnataka and other states of India.”

Going forward, the BBMP will continue to provide the infrastructure (land, water source, and electricity connection) for the 25 WaterHealth Centers that will be constructed and run by WaterHealth India based on the current Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, a proven success. WaterHealth India aims to continually expand this innovative technology to cover all 198 wards in Bengaluru.

The project builds on WaterHealth India’s successful track record of managing over 500 WaterHealth Centers in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu since 2006. WaterHealth’s award winning water purification and disinfection technology, combined with creative business and community-driven approaches, has enabled the delivery of affordable clean water to even the most vulnerable populations.

The Center is operated by WaterHealth India in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and BBMP to provide access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water for vulnerable communities in the area.