Grameen Koota venturing into Water Credit, gets Rs. 1.34 cr
By Naagesh Naaraayana
Microfinance Focus, Aug. 19, 2009: Kansas-based WaterPartners has agreed to provide Rs 1.34 crore to Grameen Koota, a Bangalore-based microfinance institution with presence in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The project, to be implemented in Tumkur district of Karnataka, aims to provide individual water connection and sanitary facility provision and create awareness about the hygiene in slums and rural areas, especially among the rural women.
“The community members have to wait hours for the water supply and thus, lose portion of their daily income. Their time is wasted in water collection at public stand posts. Though this is the reality in many villages, through this program we will address the unproportionate time spent on collecting drinking water by families from lower income groups,” said Asha Rani, Project Manager of New Initiatives, Grameen Koota. The project will be completed by May 2011.
“Water, Sanitation and hygiene are inter-related. The project will have a hoslistic approach in bringing about change in the water supply and sanitary habits of the people and in improving the quality of life in rural areas. Microfinance has unique opportunity to link with such services in a sustaible manner,” said Suresh K. Krishna, Managing Director of Grammen Koota, which has 265,000 clients across 80 branches in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
“WaterCredit Initiatives is one of the successfully demonstrated models in the field of micro-finance by our partner organisations where the repayment rate is successful like that of income generation loans. We would like to expand our projects to potential experienced MFIs so that more number of people could get access to improved water facilities and sanitation,” said WaterPartners Country Director in India S. Damodaran.
WaterPartners, founded in Kansas City in 1990 by Gary White, helps communities in South Asia, Central America and Africa gain access to safe water and sanitation through grants and micro-credit financing. Recently, the H2O Africa Foundation, a non-profit body has joined WaterPartners to create Water.org, a new organization.
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