World Bank plan for Kerala villagers

New Delhi : The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $ 155.3 million credit to the southern Indian state of Kerala to help village communities develop and run water supply and sanitation services that will improve the quality of life for some 1.84 million people.

The Second Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (KRWSS) — Jalanidhi II – will assist the Government of Kerala (GOK) in setting up and implementing a statewide sector development program that will bring better water supply and sanitation (RWSS) services to the people. The Project will help build the capacity of institutions at the state and village-level to implement this program. It will also provide financial and technical assistance for setting-up rural water supply schemes in about 200 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in eight selected districts of the state.

The Project will be implemented in about 200 Gram Panchayats in the districts of Kasargode, Kannur, Malappuram, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Kottayam. Some 290,000 households are likely to directly benefit from the water supply investments and some 690,000 [from sanitation interventions under the Project. Women are expected to be the major overall beneficiaries in the project and will be a strong voice in the Beneficiary Committees (BCs), responsible for sub-project implementation. The Project will also provide targeted assistance to about 65,000 beneficiaries among the tribal population in 22 GPs.

The Second KRWSS Project follows the successful Bank financed First KRWSS Project — Jalanidhi I -(2000-2008) – which transferred the implementation and key decision-making responsibility of water supply and sanitation-related services from government institutions to the Gram Panchayats (GPs) – village-level local self-government institutions – and to the community, providing rural water services to 193,000 households across 112 GPs in the state. The Second KRWSS Project – Jalanidhi II – seeks to scale-up and institutionalize this bottom-up, demand-driven approach across the sector in the state.

“The Bank has provided support to the Government of India’s RWSS agenda, in partnership with a number of state governments, over the last two decades, and in Kerala since early 2000,” said Roberto Zagha, Country Director, World Bank. “We hope that the second Kerala RWSS project will help rural communities, especially the women living in villages, actively participate in the design and implementation of water supply services which greatly impact their day-to-day life.”

The Project has three main components (i) Institutional Building (II) Technical Assistance and (iii) infrastructure Development. The Project’s sector strengthening activities under the first component will be undertaken state-wide and include funding the preparation of a range of sector development programs and studies, conducting performance assessments of existing schemes, conducting independent M&E and consumer surveys, and integrating and optimizing the functions of the multiple sector institutions in the state.

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