Contents: Preface. 1. Water: a matter of life and health. 2. Finding water for water-short communities. 3. The handpumb revolution. 4. Not just water, but sanitation too. 5. Tackling disease: Guinea worm and diarrhoea. 6. Managing a community service. 7. Threats to water--and everything else. 8. Water, life, and health: where next? Glossary of terms. Index.
"At a time when India faces serious problems of freshwater scarcity, groundwater depletion and environmental pollution, there is much to be learnt from current and past experiences. This book examines critically what has been done and needs to be done to fulfill the promise of 'drinking water and sanitation for all'.
The central theme is Unicef's 35-year programme of support to rural water supplies in India--the largest and longest in the organization's history--which has helped bring water and sanitation to millions of villagers. However, as water tables drop and contamination mounts, serious difficulties persist. How will Indian villages cope?
This book explores community-led, NGO and government approaches alike. From the Rajasthani farmer facing the fifth successive year of drought, to the sanitation mistri in West Bengal, to the Mysore school children chanting safe water messages, this is an account which brings to life India's perennial problems with water and health, asking how--and whether--they can be solved.
This interdisciplinary and topical book echoes environmental thinking in India and will appeal to environmentalists, public health specialists, water activists and development practitioners. It will be especially useful to policymakers, NGOs, international aids agencies, and researchers in the water supply sector." (jacket)