: Arsenic Safe Drinking Water: Nadia (5)

Applicant Project Well Plan ID: 364
Status: approved_accepted Review Cycle end date: 2013-12-05

Discussion Forum

Inflation, site-selection, borewell conversion

By Team Blue Posted on Thu 28 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hi Meera,
Couple questions/clarifications:
1. My calculation of the inflation number ($358) was different from that in the budget. Not materially off, but still different. It appears to be backed out (from the 50 well number) rather than calculated from ground up for these 5 borewells. I think a consistent approach, either bottom up or top down, would eliminate this issue. Unless, of course, my calculations are off -- in which case, ooops :)
2. In addition to Google-Earth, do the Geologists bring other tools/insight to the site-selection? Is there a defined methodology that can be used by other implementors? Or is the methodology specific to this region of the world.
3. Are there plans to convert the shallow borewells to dug borewells?
4. Am I correct in assuming the same staff resources are used across the 50 wells, so 1/10th of their costs have been allocated to this specific project?



By East Meets West Foundation Posted on Wed 20 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

1. If the dugwells are fed by rainwater, how much water can a well produce a day in the dry season, especially in the project dry area?
2. What is the fuction of the plug located at the foot of the 10 foot well pipe?
3. What happens to these wells if in the future the government extent the distribution pipeline to the project areas?



By Project Well Posted on Fri 22 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hello Tam,

1. Dugwells get dry in some areas and not at every site. Hence the new design, bore-dugwell is being incorporated from this year that extends the depth to the level where there is water year round at the same time taking caution not to reach tap water from the arsenic bearing zone. During summer water can be catered to at least 20 families but with gap in collection time. The users of the historical dugwells that get dry in summer fetch water from the source that is far and used before.

2. the plug is used so that it blocks the entry of fine sand from the bottom. The 10 foot pipe is perforated through which water enters into the bore. Entry of the fine sand is checked by the coarse sand that envelops the pipe.

3. the users are told to use the water for other purposes like irrigation mainly but they are still learning. They do not want the wells to be closed down because they fear that the supply water pipes may break down or due to electricity failure the supply may be disrupted or water may get turbid or contaminated with arsenic if it is pumped from underground that happened at other places.

Thank you for the questions. please let me know if you have any further questions.

Questions for Project Well

By The Samburu Project Posted on Wed 20 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hello Project Well Team,

I like the idea of the street drama to inform about the project. Did it achieve its purpose? Your project sounds very innovative!!

1. During the dry season, how much water does the dugwell produce? Does it provide enough water per person?

2. The community pays for the well, correct? Is there a community fund put into place? Who is in charge of the costs of the upkeep of the wells? The community members or Project Well? Is the community aware of the cost of well maintenance before the well is put into place?

3. Is the field worker a member from the community or an outside organization?

4. Is there anyone in the community in charge of well maintenance? Who is trained other than the field worker who only visits every few months?


Questions for Project Well

By Project Well Posted on Fri 22 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hello Heidi,
The street dramas were effective to some extent for many villagers were interested to know how could they get a bore-dugwell installed in their village and in some areas not only the number of users increased a bit but 3 -4 historical wells are being used again.

1. Water is provided only for drinking and cooking and not all dugwells get dried up. If the dugwell is dried up they need to get water from other source from far.

2. During village meetings the communities are informed about payment for theoline and wear and tear. Yes some communities have started paying for the maintenance and not for water by bucket or volume. Small wear and tear is payed by the communites except a few who still do not want to pay. Bigger expenses like dredging is still maintained by Project Well. Effort is being made for the community to take responsibility but it is real challenging because they already have water close to their kitchen and they do not believe that arsenic can cause diseases unless they have seen somebody dying in their locality.

3.All the fieldworkers are from the arsenic affected villages.

4. The field workers visit every month and the persons who are responsible for maintenance visit every month to those source that need repair work after being informed by the field workers. The maintenance manager creates a ‘maintenance report’ before the dry season of all the dugwells reporting on the repair needed mainly about dredging. For applying theoline a person from the community is trained to apply the disinfectant.

Please let me know if I have missed any of the questions.
thank you.

Staff capacity directly involved in project

By East Meets West Foundation Posted on Wed 20 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

At first, this proposal was difficult to read perhaps due to the layout on PWX. Nevertheless, after digesting the content, I think this project is quite thorough and has a clear methodology and targeted approach to identify arsenic free wells and sustain them through community participation and building. Accordingly, I have one comment and one question:

1 - I would pare down the narrative to foreground the goals, approach and outcomes. I like the attention to detail (i.e. inflation rate included in budget), but it was difficult to read through initially.

2 - I would like to know more about the staff capacity and experience who will be carrying out this project on a day-day basis. What kind of track record, evidence from the implementation (monitoring and evaluation) is there in place for this project?


Staff capacity directly involved in project

By Project Well Posted on Fri 22 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hi James,

Apologies for delay in response for I am travelling and on top my computer failed to start this morning (22nd Friday). Hence unable to give any data. Hoping will be able to fix it by Monday.

Thank you very much for the comment. Will keep in mind.

The number of staff as mentioned in the budget is 13. Three in the city, the project manager, data feeder and the accountant. Ten are from the villages in chakdah, gaighata, swarupnagar, and deganga including the technical manager.

The technical manager has the most experience of 8 years. Every year new field workers are hired and trained. The team keeps growing but the number is still very small. The project manager is young and very dynamic who likes the challenge and visits the field 3-4 times a week. The journey by local train takes 3-4 hours each way from the city. The project manager and the technical manager carry out the day to day work prior and during the construction and awareness team is in the field pan and perform the village meetings that is planned in the beginning of the month. All the meetings are recorded by an awareness team member. Everyone has to submit the timesheet too at the end of the month. All the above activities are discussed with the director of Project Well over phone almost every day if needed otherwise 3-4 times a week with the project manager and the technical manager.

By the first week of every month the excel sheet with the report of the status of dugwells is sent to Project Well. It includes the ID numbers of individual dugwell/bore-dugwell and the number of users, complaints from the users, if any, about technical issues or others, height of the water column and date when measured and the date and amount of theoline given to the community, physical (color, taste, odor)of the water, any maintenance done or needed and the cost. The record of the status of dugwells helps us to evaluate the functionality of the wells. And from time to time the fluctuation of users, dry or any other conditions of the wells are assessed. Based on the number of users the awareness meetings are planned. I could give some data from my computer but unfortunately that has to wait.
Thanks for the queries.

Staff capacity directly involved in project

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Mon 25 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Second the paring down request. Like the Explanation for "Number of People Receiving Other Benefits" includes description of a field trip to Pondicherry and presentation at Berkeley, completely not-related information. This large chunk of text can be edited out.

The newsletter should be in the project profile and not duplicated on every application.
No wonder that PW has problems with the PWX database! :)

Sanitation and more

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Fri 22 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

How are the sanitation facilities and practices?
Is there any contamination of the water source? I realize you test your water, and am i right in assuming that fecal matter contamination would be detected?

But with high density, it could always be a problem, despite chlorination. What steps are taken to change behavior?

After the field trip to Tamil Nadu, your field staff showed much excitement at eco-san. What can be done to introduce eco-san or other sanitation projects (assuming the need that i saw a couple of years ago still exists)?

Sanitation and more

By Project Well Posted on Sat 23 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hi Rajesh,

Meera is having computer troubles and cannot get onto her computer. I had a phone chat with her and will answer these questions as best I can, with her input (she will log on as soon as she is able, to answer your budget questions above).

Project Well selects sites at least 100 feet away from toilets, to prevent sewage contamination. In Nadia, we haven't come across any cases of open defecation, which is more common in districts such as South-24 Parganas, Murshidabad and Purulia.

With the improved well design, bacteria contamination risk is also lower, because the sand surrounding the main pipe underground acts as a filter. We had 50 wells (from Nadia and North-24 Parganas) tested last year by a certified laboratory in Kolkata, for E. Coli among other things. All came back "undetected" for E. Coli.

Regarding Eco-San, when we go into areas where it would be needed, we may partner with other local NGOs who are interested in implementing Eco-San in those areas.

Thank you,

Sanitation and more

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Mon 25 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

I hope the EMW team is reading this. If dug wells show up bacteria free, i want to see what the contamination from the deep wells (requiring electric motors) planned in Cambodia is.


By Blue Planet Network Posted on Fri 22 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Can you explain the inflation numbers and why you have them?
Your costs should be for the coming year and you should have updated all the costs (salaries, etc.) to reflect as close to actuals. For some things inflation is really higher than 8% so it would be better to have the project costs as close to reality.

Curious about what goes into maintenance and overheads, since you have done a good job of putting in almost all the main expenses (rent, salaries, ...).

What does your audit include? Does each well (or set) get audited financially? What were the results of last years audit?



By Project Well Posted on Sun 24 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

Hello Rajesh,

Thank you so much for the points you have raised here.

I have inserted the inflation rate referring to the article in the economic times dated 19.6.2011 as 8.0%.

Perhaps we should have done the way suggested by you to include the rate to individual item and should remember to incorporate it next year. The salary has already been increased based on the increase on the workload and performance of the staff.

Item numbers 5-8 are included in the ‘maintenance and overheads’. They are: rent, office supply, audit fee, maintenance of dws, awareness mtgs.

The numbers look small since the actual number for 50 bore-dugwells has been distributed per well. And in this budget it is for 5 bore-dugwells.
For e.g. the audit fee for 2011 is USD 340 (INR15,000) and for 5 sources it is USD 34.

No, individual well is not audited. Every year a certified auditor audits the expenses and revenues and provides ‘auditors report’. For the renewal of their registration the partner NGO in West Bengal submits the ‘auditors report’ and the ‘financial statement of account’.

Do you think I should upload the total budget for 50 bore-dugwells somewhere for better understanding? If so, where to upload?

Re: Numbers

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Mon 25 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

It just seems very odd to include inflation rate when the projects are due to be completed in the next 10-12 months.

You should know the prices today and not base it on increasing last years.

Yes, the spreadsheet could have cost of 1 well, and then multiply by the number it refers to. And overall costs could be divided by 50 to show their allocation to the one well costing.

What does the audit include? Earlier, some projects show their audited financials and if they came under budget, the org asked us what to do with the excess. We could help others who went over budget for one reason or the other. It would be nice to see this practice take deep root.

Re: Numbers

By Project Well Posted on Mon 25 Jul 2011, almost 13 years ago

The company from where the 10-foot x 10 inches dia perforated PVC pipes (the costliest raw material) are purchased cannot give the inflation rate this year and also in India prices go up in April. In fact the marble plaque cost for this year (2011 construction) has been raised by Rs.150/- each on 15th July right after I had submitted the proposal for next year with old rate. This proposal is for next year 2012. (Some NGO's in West Bengal include 15% inflation on their budget). Thanks for the suggestion and will include expected inflation rate next year. And also will include cost of one well too in the spreadsheet.
In the past the audit amount was considered as 2% of the total and indeed was not paid for auditing. This 2% has been changed this year as advised by the accountant who discussed the matter with the auditor (finance) who charges a fee per organization. Less for NGOs. So the excess amount gets spent on over budgeted construction mainly. Still learning to prepare TRANSPARENT BUDGET. Project Well does receive funds from private donors to cover the research part including additional tests for bacteria mainly. I will upload all the IRS statements on Project Well website as soon as redesigning of the website is completed.

Application Summary

Applicant :   Project Well
Status : approved_accepted
Country : INDIA Map


Amount Funded :   $4,316
Funded By:-
Blue Planet Network : $4,316
Funds Used
: $0
Funds Available
: $4,316

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