Mahadevi Thangavel is now spared of the ordeal of waiting for long hours in a queue to fetch water. She is one of the many women at Keel Ottivakkam village in Kancheepuram district who have water connection, thanks to the water credit project of Water.Org, a U.S.-based non-profit organisation.

The project aims at providing micro credits to people to gain access to better water and sanitation facilities. Several beneficiaries of the initiative, microfinance institutions and NGOs gathered for the launch of ‘India Water Credit Forum' here recently.

April Rinne, global director of Water Credit, Water.Org, said women and children were the worst affected owing to poor access to water.

The organisation has reached out to countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Bangladesh apart from India. The project is targeted at financing for household level.

S. Damodaran, country director of Water.Org, said the organisation provided small loans to members of women self-help groups or joint liability groups, which is a five-member team in a particular area, through microfinance institutions without insisting on collateral security. The project is under way in many States.

“We give loans for water and sewer connections and construction of septic tanks. Some of them have taken loans for even setting up water purification system and rainwater harvesting structures,” he said.

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