The statistics aren’t just sobering, they are unacceptable. 2.2 billion people globally lack access to safe drinking water. Women and girls spend 200 million hours each day collecting and carrying water to their villages. Vipin Kumar— Associate Director HR, India Manufacturing saw an opportunity to improve those numbers in Jhagadia and joined one of Kohler’s five Water Impact Projects committed to bringing clean water to local villages.
“I am very passionate about working to improve our community, and since Kohler was willing to deploy the necessary resources to take on this long-term effort to impact so many people, I was very inspired to be a part of this meaningful project.”
Following a prior project during which we installed more than 230 toilets in the Jhagadia village of Randheri, Vipin recognized the potential to help create a village where people would have complete access to hygiene, sanitation and safe water. In Randheri, the team could prototype an approach for similar issues in neighboring villages. So, he and Kohler got to work.
“We initially installed a small reverse osmosis (RO) system at a school so the children would have safe drinking water,” explains Vipin. “We then considered adding them in surrounding schools as well, but deeper analysis revealed that merely putting the system at schools wouldn’t be as impactful, as children would go home and still drink unsafe water. We knew we needed a complete solution.”
It turns out a large capacity system that catered to all 462 villagers was the answer. We constructed a centralized kiosk featuring an RO system with ultraviolet (UV) protection. Active since August 2019, the system removes pollutants from water, eliminates odor and improves taste. It runs around the clock and is capable of producing 500 liters of safe water per hour.
“Kohler is doing much more than providing infrastructure,” says Vipin. “We are driving a yearlong behavior change project consisting of various learning programs to help the village understand the importance of safe water. This has helped us in achieving 76% usage so far, with the goal of 100% in the Randheri village.”
And it won’t end with Randheri. With dedication from associates like Vipin, we’re currently working on two new Water Impact Projects in Limbet and Ranipara villages to continue our pursuit of Safe Water for All.