Clean Water as Important as Books
The American India Foundation (AIF), supported by funds from the Applied Materials Foundation, has installed low maintenance bio-sand water filters in 16 schools in Bangalore, India. For the 2009–2010 school year, the filters will be installed in schools that are currently being supported by the Applied Materials Foundation and will provide clean drinking water to more than 5,000 children.
Bangalore, India’s third largest city with a population of about 6.5 million, receives its water from Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board. Even though the facility draws from two sources — the Cauvery and Arkavathy rivers — the actual availability of treated water per person is less than what it should be for a city the size of Bangalore due to limited infrastructure in many parts of the city.
The bio-sand filters being installed are cost effective to build and require little maintenance. They last 25 to 30 years and are virtually maintenance free since they do not require electricity or chemicals. More than 40 developing countries around the world use these filters as a solution of choice for clean water.
This pilot program is aimed at testing the efficacy of this intervention. Depending on its success, the plan is to implement it in more schools.
The Applied Materials Foundation also supports AIF’s Digital Equalizer Program, a program that aims to bridge the education and digital divide in India and prepares children to compete in the digital economy.
Children are the best investment a nation can make. We are pleased to be associated with AIF on this project which provides a significant number of children access to clean drinking water.