In recent weeks, we have seen that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting hard countries that have few resources to offer preventative measures and extensive healthcare services.
Last year, the International Roncalli Foundation quickly adapted its project funding criteria so that it could support its partners in responding to this urgent situation. Projects in some of the most affected countries are ongoing and having an impact.
A case in point is India, which has been particularly devastated by an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. Hospitals have been stretched to the limit and marginalized communities are not only more vulnerable to contracting the virus but have very limited access to medical care.
We are supporting a project with our partner SOPAR-Bala Vikasa that is making purified water available in 8 villages in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Water purification systems are being installed in the villages with the help of community members elected to form water committees. These committees take charge of the project, encourage community participation and organize activities such as hygiene and sanitation workshops.
“With the help of generous donors like the International Roncalli Foundation, our water purification program, is having multiple benefits to help cope with the current COVID-19 situation.
Despite the lockdowns and economic difficulties, villagers are grateful and happy to have access to affordable clean water 24/7 in their own community. Water committees are following safety precautions, sanitizing the area, following physical distancing measures, wearing masks etc., when people come to collect water. When people get water from outside commercial suppliers, they don’t know the hidden risks in handling water. Now, having purified water within their community and from a source they trust, people are feeling safe and hassle free,” says Shobha Singareddy, Director of SOPAR-Bala Vikasa.
In total, 13, 750 people will see significant improvements in their living conditions and increased protection from COVID-19 thanks to this project.
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