April Showers Bring May Flowers

Woman standing in a field of flower in India

A few dozen kilometers south of Bangalore, India, something new is blooming.

Just outside of Mahahalli village, rows of perfectly planted flowers rise up to meet a rolling, one-lane, country road. The colorful blossoms pop against the verdant foliage, and each paints the landscape with a single dot of color. Yellow or vermillion. Purple or peach.

Each morning and every evening, women dressed in saris as vibrant as the flowers themselves walk between the well-tended rows, checking the blooms and watering the roots.

This beautiful scene is new to the people of Mahahalli, where women once spent their days dealing with the reality of living without a toilet. Caring for sick kids, and lying awake at night, unable to relieve themselves in safety made it difficult – if not impossible – for women to earn a daily wage.

So, when a Water.org partner visited the village and explained the process of taking out a WaterCredit loan to build a toilet, the women didn’t need to be shown just how valuable a private toilet could be. They already knew.

In short order, every household in the village took out a loan, and constructed a toilet of their own. Giving wives, mothers, and sisters newfound freedom to pursue a job, or spend their time on other, more productive tasks. Many chose to dedicate their days to the lavender and marigold fields that border their homes.

Access to safe water and adequate sanitation can jump-start a cycle, improving the lives of an entire family a bit more every single day. Thanks to money saved on doctor’s visits, and a new source of income, these solutions afford families more than just comfort: they provide families with the ability to easily repay the loan itself.

Now, with their toilets fully paid-off, many women in Mahahalli are applying for a new WaterCredit loan to bring access to safe water into their homes. By reinvesting in their own futures, they’re ensuring that they and their families grow more prosperous through their own hard work.

Just like the flowers in Mahahalli, which bloom brighter with each passing season.

Woman standing in a field of flowers outside of the Mahahalli village

Capital: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
77 million lack access to safe water
769 million lack access to improved sanitation
59% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day
India

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