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"Manu Diya Saviya" Access to safe drinking water

On 21st of July 2016, Berendina Development Services and Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Limited in partnership with VOICE Community Development Organization launched ‘Manu Diya Saviya’ a water project in the Nochchiyagama divisional secretariat in Anuradhapura.
Thibiriwawa is a Grama Niladari Division in Nochchiyagama divisional secretariat division in Anuradhapura which has been affected by the Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD). Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive loss in renal function over a period of months or years. CKD is an emerging health problem and it has a high economical cost on the patient, family, community and health system. The incidences of deaths caused by this Chronic Kidney Disease of multi-factorial origin and previously unknown. The main culprit for the progression of the disease is assumed to be consumption of contaminated water. In addressing the issues of CKD, the Government of Sri Lanka has given priority to supply purified water for CKD affected areas such as North Western, North Central, and Eastern province. In the Anuradhapura District, most of the projects are concentrated to the northern part due to higher number of patients being recorded in this part and limited resources being channeled to them. However, CKD is also spreading fast to other areas such as Nochchiyagama with rising number of reported cases and many others being unidentified. With the funding support of HSBC Berendina undertook the initiative of establishing a water purification plant in the Thimbiriwewa Grama Niladhari division by addressing the social issues of the lack of quality drinking water.
The project consists of a water purification unit that uses the Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology to purify the water. The plant will have capacity to purify 10,000L of water per day. About 1000 people in Thimbiriwewe and other surrounding GN divisions are expected to benefit from this project. The estimated total project value is Rs 4,860,000. Having worked in community development, Berendina facilitated the project forming a partnership with VOICE, a non-profit voluntary organization formed by community members in the area that have taken the lead role in implementing and managing the project. The local government contributed to the project by providing the land for establishing the plant in the Thimbiriwewa village.
HSBC is the main sponsor of the project. A total of Rs. 4.0 million will be contributed to the project through the bank’s Sustainability Strategy. The HSBC Water Program ?? focuses on establishing sustainable development through the ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water. In an area infested with CKD this is indeed a useful and timely contribution on their part. The foresight and contribution, enables a supportive partnership between the groups when undertaking a program to support a population of this magnitude. The project is guided by the social business concept, which focuses on the social issues of lack of quality drinking water problems that affect the underprivileged population in rural Sri Lanka.
The project aims at establishing social business as an emerging tool for effective and efficient sustainable development. ‘Manu Diya Saviya’ is developed as a business model that focuses on generates income by selling the purified water at the subsidiary rate to villages. The income of the project will cover the operational cost of running the project and rest of the income generated from the project are directed towards providing academic scholarships and medical assistance to CKD affected families in the area. In the future, the partners hope to establish an E-Learning Center with the profits of ‘Manu Diya Saviya’ where students in the area will be able to benefit. The project does not only focus in the accessibility to purified water to villagers but will also provide solution for other social issues such as education and financial assistance for needy people.
The ground breaking ceremony was attended by Local government officials, a representative from Divisional Secretariat and over forty other participants. The chief guests for the launch of ‘Manu Diya Saviya’ were the Corporate Sustainability Manager of HSBC Ms. Dilini Fernando and General Manager of Berendina Employment Center Mr. Hemantha Harischandra and. Chairman of Berendina Group, Mr. Anura Athapattu: “Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and the impact it has on poverty stricken families is enormous, especially when the breadwinner of the family is affected. Therefore, maintaining drinking water facilities is of significant importance in rural areas. However, the lack of sustainable mechanisms in providing access to rural populations to clean, safe and quality drinking water is a key development issue that must be addressed immediately. "Manu Diya Saviya" aims to not only provide access to clean water, but create an income generation method for the community. The objective of this project is to utilize the net profits generated from the social enterprise and provide health and educational support to families affected by CKD and raise awareness within communities on the issue.
Berendina carries out social business activities with the intention of addressing myriad of areas specific to social issues. This type of social enterprise has the potential of addressing a social need while also assisting a social cause. This social enterprise model ensures the long-term sustainability of the project, with the community as direct beneficiaries and further as a tool for successful development interventions.”