Access to water and sanitation is a problem in the entire Gajole Block, West Bengal, India and situation is worse in the villages of Bamonpukur, Chengtor & Fatellapur. Due to the absence of tube wells, the villagers drink contaminated water from wells and the situation during summer gets worse as at that time water level plunges to new lows. Villagers are thus forced to drink unclean water. However with assistance from Mennonite Central Committee we have able to set up a tube well in Bamonpukur village which will provide potable water to communities in a sustainable manner. The water supply schemes under the project have been established under innovative enterprises which have the capacity for proper management and operation and in order to achieve effective maintenance of the tube well we have formed a committee of 10 people who would collect Rs.5/- only per month from each of 31 families living in Bamonpukur village, which will be spent for the upkeep of the tube wells.
Previously the children and adults were all drinking the contaminated water directly from wells (without boiling) thus making them vulnerable against water borne diseases. Soon, water-borne diseases became rampant. “The tube-wells installed with MCC assistance have been a boon. Improvements in our lives can be seen with a perceptible drop in the incidence of water-borne diseases, both among children and adults”, says Ravi Hembram. There is a new hope in the village due to the project and villagers who used to travel to other places of India for a better quality of life and money are giving a second thought to migrating due to these recent changes in their villages.