Nandabad, India Solar Water System A new technological advancement has taken shape in a small village in India. A solar powered water well and storage system is up and running. And now, the 235 people who live there are celebrating the convenience and opportunity it provides.

Since 2010, the residents of Nandabadi waited in line every morning to take turns hand pumping a single pipe well. This was their only source of bathing, cooking and drinking water. Before 2010, gathering water meant a 1-kilometer (0.62-mile) walk to the river, taking much effort and time, and with no guarantee of safe water.

A solar powered water well was the solution they needed.

As with all projects facilitated by Outreach International and its partners around the world, local experts worked with people who live in Nandabadi. They helped them identify issues the community was facing. Then, through conversation, collaboration and issue resolution they worked together to identify solutions.

The need for safe water is universal and is a focus of international nonprofits worldwide. But there’s a unique approach taken by Outreach, referred to as the Participatory Human Development Process, or PHD. The people who lacked reasonable access to safe water were brought together to identify the problems that made their lives difficult. Then, they were guided to find solutions to poverty available to them.

Social Services Offer Solutions to Poverty

The nation of India has a robust program of social services. However, it’s the responsibility of the people who could benefit from them to seek them out. They must write proposals, demonstrate need, and convince the government to provide these services that can improve their lives.

The Indian government could finance the solar water system Nandabadi needed. But the development of solar power was an ultimate and distant goal. When they were walking to the river to gather their water before 2010, they were guided by Outreach to take a first step in the right direction. They petitioned the government to intervene. This took the form of a basic tube well.

Woman using Nandabad, India Solar Water System PumpA Hand Pump Well: A Difficult but Necessary First Step

Nandabadi resident Ale H. describes those first difficult days:

“In the year 2010, one tube well was approved and implemented by the government, but one tube well was not enough to provide sufficient water for the village. We had to wait in queues for filling drinking water. This situation was very difficult for me as well as other elderly people. Due to old age, I was not able to pull the tube well handle and pour water. Due to this difficulty, sometimes my husband and I were using only two pots of water for two to three days.”

Human Development Facilitator Rama Jagaranga, Program Coordinator Rashmi Mallick and Documenter Sambit Rao are all from the Outreach Program Partner Team in India. They were the experts who worked with a group of people from Nandabadi. They guided them to identify that a water pump of sufficient power and volume was a necessary and attainable goal. A solar powered water well was within reach.

Self-Advocating leads to success

And so, they petitioned the government by contacting the proper offices and writing an effective proposal. The result? A government funded solar water system Nandabadi uses to pump 5,000 liters of safe water each day.

A storage tank above ground contains the water for an ongoing, reliable supply. And four access points instead of one cut the wait for well water considerably. This allows people to collect their water and get on with their day, increasing productivity and prosperity. It has even brought harmony among Nandabadi’s 56 households. Hand pumps are strenuous, long lines are frustrating, and people need to get to work.

The solar water system Nandabadi needed was an effective solution that will help propel them forward. And, the PHD process implemented by the Outreach International partners in India has taught the people there how to identify for themselves whatever problem they may face next, and even better, how to find its solution.