Safe, Accessible, and Adequate water for Tea Plantation Communities

10 November 2020

Solidaridad has initiated a project to provide safe, accessible, and adequate water to 10 Tea Plantation Estate divisions in the Nuwara Eliya District of Sri Lanka through the Reaching the Unreached (RTU) Project. These 10 estates are part of the total 52 estates selected under the “Reaching the Unreached Estates and Surrounding Communities on Equitable Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) for improved Health and Project” (RTU).

The Alma Estate Storage Tank is nearly complete

Approximately 2,000 families will benefit from this project, enjoying an uninterrupted flow of purified water accessible to each house. This intervention will have a significant impact on the health and hygiene practices and behaviors of the community.  

This portion of the ‘Reaching the Unreached’ project is implemented with the collaboration of the Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Society (EWHC), which is the community-based organization in the estates. The 10 estates include Ragala, St. Leonards, Liddesdale, Mahauva, Mahakudugala, High Forest, Gonapitiya, Alma, Mathurata, and Bramley Estates in the Walapane Divisional Secretariat area. 

Mahakudugala Estate  Storage Tank is nearing completion

The EWHC includes Estate workers as members, and an Estate Manager, as the President, who together take responsibility to implement the Water Project, while Solidaridad provides the financial input, technical assistance, and general management of project activities. In addition, the beneficiary communities provide labour such as cutting trenches, laying pipes, and transporting materials to construction sites, etc. This contribution and commitment from the community will ensure the sustainability of the water system in terms of operation and management.  The RTU project has provided technical training in masonry and plumbing so that the community has the skills in-house to manage and operate the water system in the future. 

The project identifies existing and new water sources with the required capacity ensuring uninterrupted flow to meet the needs of the community. The RTU project provides purification plants and storage tanks in identified locations and the required pipelines to transport the safe water to the community and to the homes. For the first time in the plantation sector, individual water lines are being provided to each household. A tariff system will be introduced where the community will not only enjoy the benefits of safe water with easy and convenient access, but will also give it a monetary value which will reduce waste and protect the water from unnecessary use and waste.   

Community participates in pipe laying at Liddesdale Estate.

The RTU project has two components related to Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) facility improvement. One is the hardware component implemented by Solidaridad improving the water systems, and the second is the software component provided by Institute of Social Development ISD) which takes care of the community mobilizing and capacity building in the estates. 

The RTU project will enhance the Water Sanitation and Hygiene conditions of the selected estate communities towards improved health and nutrition status. This project is funded by the European Union, and implemented through Solidaridad and two local implementing organizations; The Institute for Social Development (ISD) and Nucleus Foundation (NF).                       

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