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South Asia

Bringing clean drinking water to rural India: Healthpoint Services Global

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Site Rural villages throughout India’s Punjab state
Sector Water

Challenge Many of the villages in India have no source of safe drinking water and residents generally cannot afford bottled water.

Solution A $3.5 million OPIC loan to Healthpoint Services Global India Ltd. is supporting construction of 500 water treatment facilities in villages throughout Punjab, India.

Impact Villagers have a steady source of clean drinking water, which they pick-up from a central distribution point.

The lack of clean drinking water throughout much of India has been associated with a variety of waterborne diseases and health problems such as arsenic poisoning or calcification of the joints from excessive fluoride content. In response to this need, various businesses have recently begun building a series of community-scale water treatment facilities but the demand continues to outstrip supply. According to one recent estimate, some 30,000 Indian communities still have no access to clean drinking water.

A group of people waiting to get waterIn 2012, Healthpoint Services India Ltd. obtained a $3.5 million loan from OPIC to support the construction of small water treatment facilities using reverse osmosis and ultraviolet technologies, in 500 communities in India’s Punjab state. Healthpoint is building the facilities so that they can receive water from a variety of sources from stream to well to irrigation canal, and provide the purified water to local villagers through a modern and sanitary central location.

In addition to providing clear health benefits, the project brings strong economic benefits. By its fifth year in operation, the project is expected to create approximately 600 permanent jobs that provide extensive benefits such as health care and stock ownership.

In 2011, NPR featured Healthpoint and its efforts  to supply clean water to rural India. The company was also recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.

This project was profiled in 2013