Rama lives in Thalla Gumpu, a small village in India’s southern state of Telangana. He’s married and has two young daughters who attend a government boarding school and live away from home. In tribal areas, schools are often few and far between and one school such as this will serve several villages spread across a large geographical area. Boarding is the only option for many children living in remote areas due to the long and sometimes dangerous journey they’d otherwise have to walk.
Rama is tall, slim and has a broad smile. He currently earns money working as a toddy tapper – climbing to the top of hundred-foot palm trees to retrieve terracotta pots filled with naturally produced sap, that is then fermented to make a pungent and potent drink.
Depending on the season, Rama can earn extra money working for local farmers. However, farming work dries up during the summer months, so he relies entirely on his toddy tapping job to keep his family alive.
Until recently, the only source of drinking water for Rama and his family was around two kilometres from their house. There was an open well closer to home, but it was often contaminated and not fit for drinking. With their daughters away from home, Rama and his wife would get by on just 20 litres of water per day (the average UK household uses 142 litres a day). Whilst Rama would help his wife carry water home, this would take up vital time that he could otherwise spend working and earning money. So, not only would Rama and his family lose time and income, but he also had less energy to work due to carrying water over great distances.
With the support of Water Can partner, Frank Water, the village of Thalla Gumpu has been able to install a borewell, which in turn is connected to taps across the village. Rama and his wife now have access to a tap situated right outside their house, which they can use for drinking, washing, and cooking as frequently as they like.
“Before we would clean the floor just once every five days. The dust was terrible, and our clothes were dirty. Now we can clean every day, the dust is better, and we can keep ourselves clean.”
At Water Can we work with hard-to-reach communities across the world to enable and empower people like Rama by providing access to water resources that are sustainable and lasting.
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