This programme report has been developed to describe the Solar-based Mini Piped Water Supply Scheme that was supported by SWASTH. It draws from internal documents and conversations with different stakeholders. Information from the ground was gathered through a field trip to Dobhi and Bodh Gaya blocks of Gaya district in Bihar. The field work included some personal interviews and group discussions with external stakeholders. These blocks were selected because the initiative was reported to have brought about some changes there since its implementation.
The Solar-based Mini Piped Water Supply Scheme (MPWSS) aims to ensure the supply of safe drinking water in 100 Mahadalit habitations in Bihar that have still not benefited from targeted government schemes. Launched by the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), Government of Bihar, under the Sector Wide Approach to Strengthening Health (SWASTH) programme, the scheme is being implemented in the Gaya district. This initiative recognises the challenge posed by irregular supply of electricity in areas inhabited by these deprived communities, and harnesses solar energy to pump water.
This initiative has brought regular supply of safe drinking water to habitations where the units have been set up, and has aimed to reduce the incidence of water borne diseases. It has built-in mechanisms for regular operation and maintenance for a period of five years. Overall, this initiative has made a significant improvement in the lives of communities living in the targeted habitations