Pure water is a basic need. Water related problems are faced globally. So we at Summer school 17 in Grambharti choose this as an important issue to be addressed. We got information about excess of iron and fluoride in nearby area such as patan, kheralu , bhavnagar and many more area where water salinity and fluoride content is a major issue.
On our first field visit we chose "kheralu" to get an insight of the problems people face in surrounding regions. We departed from grambharti from around 10 am on 29th may.
(Ismal , 22 years,lassi shopkeeper)
On our way we stopped at vijapur and talk to lassi shopkeeper at the bus stand and asked him from where he gets the water and what are the different range of purified water products he has? He said that municipal water supply fulfils the basic need but supply is once in two days and irregular in quality (due to pipeline repair works/ mixing of sewer and water pipeline). It was a “kabhi khushi kabhi gam” situation for him. He also quoted that mineral water suppliers are active in the area that purify and supply water. They cost around 15 to 20 rupees for a can of 20 litres.
( Yusuf bhai, 30 years, pharmacy shop)
We reached kheralu in afternoon at around 1 pm. After roaming for half an hour we reached a clinic but the doctor was not available so we talked the man at pharmacy. He has been working there for 20 years. He lived in a nearby village 10km away. For day time he used to buy mineral water but at home he uses water from the bore. He claimed that he doesn’t have any issues with water and they are adopted to those conditions. He also said that there is proper farming practices and abundant water for irrigation.
( Dr. Harshit Vaidya, 48 years, Doctor –Alka hospital)
To have an insight of the health issues prevailing in that area we met Doctor Harshit Vaidya in Alka hospital. He told us about frequent cases of stones in Kidneys (high renal calculi) because of which that area is known to be stone belt (carbonate and sulphates). Other related problems are indigestion, worm infestation and other gastro intestinal problems. The sources of water available are municipality supply, boring in urban areas and river channels, ponds in rural areas. The groundwater is prone to hardness where as the canal supplies have contamination issues.
Fluoride excess is one of the major issue and the people who are born and bought up here have discoloration of teeth and calcium deficiency that causes fractures and easy infections.
Benefits of using R O system is getting proper nutrients and Minerals, it's free of bacteria and a safe and clean drinking source. One drawback is removal of vitamin B12 from water and its deficiency leads to other health problems like anemia weakness and cramps.
Other things he added were:
People are not consuming proper amount of water as it should be 3-4 litters per day and if they are working outside and doing work then 1.2 to 1.5 times of mentioned above to supplement the basic water needs of body as lots of water is lost through sweating and urination to keep the body cool.
When we asked that how an ideal purification system should look like? His answer was, it should cost competitively with R.O and maintenance free.
( Ramesh bhai , 45 years, metal workshop)
We visited two three more hospitals but the doctors were not available there at that time. So we talked to a man (sitting free) who owned a metal workshop. He told that he has been drinking water from the tap since his childhood and faced problems related to digestion. He claims that he doesn't drink or smoke or eats tobacco but still he had teeth in bad condition. He had recently spent around 2000 rupees for cleaning his teeth and he is regularly taking medicines. He told that there have been problems related to Stones in kidney to his family members. He was getting purified water buy Municipal corporation nearby his workshop at a very cheap price but still he choose to drink water from tap.
(Manager : Vishal Soni, Worker Nitish sathwara ,23 years, purification machine operator)
The government was concerned about the problem so they installed a centralized or community purification system that has been working well hopefully.
There we talked to Nitish sathwara who the machine operator there. He works there from 8 am to 6 pm ( lunch break of two hours 1-3pm).The plant produced 15,000 litters of water that fulfilled daily demands. The costs were 3 rupees for 20 litres that very cheap. He added that the filter needs to be changed after every 15 days. The machine was easy to operate as he was not skilled and just follows the basic instructions.
I visited a house in its neighbour-hood where an aunt said that they do not find much difference in the taste of that purified water.
Also in the evening we saw some roadside slum people. After talking for a while we came to know that they bring groundwater from a nearby construction site.
REDEFINED PROBLEM STATEMENT:
AFFORDABLE AND EFFICIENT WATER PURIFIER FOR HOUSEHOLDS
After having a conversation with different people and having a close view of our problem we know that people and government are keen to solve this but the products are either too costly that is not in the reach of common man or the facilities provided by the government are not up to the mark and have faults in themselves.Therefore people who can afford R.O are using it whereas others are drinking tap water which is health woe.
REDEFINED MIND MAP: