In December 2013, Water1st visited our India partner, APS, for a monitoring visit. We made the difficult decision in 2011 not to provide additional funding to APS, but we continue to visit to see how the projects we funded between 2006 and 2010 are doing. During our visit, we were able to visit 9 of the 31 wells completed in 2006-2010. All were in good working order and users reported that they were the most reliable wells in the area.
In addition to the nine wells that were installed with direct support from Water1st, we visited three wells that have been completed since 2011 that were constructed with funds from APS’s revolving loan program. One feature of APS’s program was that beneficiaries agreed to repay 40% of the cost of constructing the wells and toilets over a four year period. While we have not been sending APS additional funds, they have been collecting funds from previous beneficiaries. With those funds, they have been able to construct three new wells. We visited those wells and talked with the users. It is great to see that the loan program has been able to extend access to water to an additional 750 people with no additional grant support.
[Top photo: Akshaynagar well – this well was placed in an area settled by refugees from Bangladesh. In the 1970s, Bangladesh fought with Pakistan for its independence. Many people fled Bangladesh at the time and settled in India. This enclave of Bangladeshi nationals now has its own water source. ]