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13 June 2008 PR 08/81

University campaign provides clean drinking water for Indian villagers

A Loughborough University campaign to raise money from the sale of bottled water to provide clean drinking water for a remote Indian village has been a major success.

imago, the University’s in-house catering provider and events and conference organiser, launched its ‘Raindrops for life’ campaign across the Loughborough campus in 2007. The campaign, in partnership with the University’s Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) and the National Forest Spring Water Company Ltd, saw profits from the sale of imago’s ‘Fuel’ branded water ploughed into the ‘Chaidipura Rural Water Supply and Hygiene Promotion Project’.

Led by voluntary organisation Vasudha Vikas Sansthan (VVS), the project was set up to provide clean water and improved sanitation for the village of Chaidipura.

Situated at the foothills of the Vindhyachal Valley, the village is home to around 220 people. Its main source of drinking water is a hand pump, which runs dry in the summer, and the alternative is a stream located 2km away from the village forcing women and children to walk long distances several times a day to collect water. Disease is also a major issue in the village as no water is treated before drinking and water storage containers are not covered. This is made worse by the absence of toilet facilities and a poor understanding of the importance of personal hygiene.

Thanks to the ‘Raindrops for life’ campaign conditions in Chaidipura have been vastly improved. Four rain water collection tanks have been constructed, which provide clean drinking water for up to 30 families and the village school. A sanitation and hygiene education programme has also been completed and representatives of Chaidipura have received training in how to maintain the tanks.

Speaking about the improvements, the village leader Kanheya lal Bhagat said: “Now we will never face any drinking water problem in future, we will collect the rain water in the tanks. Thanks to imago and Vasudha for giving this remarkable thing to us.”

Duncan Cressall, Operations Director for imago Services, added: “We are absolutely delighted that funds raised at the University have played such an important part in improving the quality of lives for the residents of Chaidipura. Ultimately staff, students and visitors who supported the ‘Raindrops for life’ campaign have helped save lives in the village by providing clean drinking water – I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this important initiative.”

For further information about the project visit: http://campuslife.lboro.ac.uk/environment/water/

For further information about WEDC visit: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/wedc

ENDS

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Smyth, Loughborough University’s Public Relations Office,
T: 01509 228697, E: J.L.Smyth@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. WEDC is an institute dedicated to helping improve the health and wellbeing of some of the world’s poorest people. It is an internationally leading education and research institute for improving access to infrastructure and services for the poor in low- and middle-income countries. It is based in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University in the UK, but works all over the world.
  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.
    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.
    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.
    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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