Water.org hits milestone, helping 10 million in India access safe water, sanitation

May 7, 2019

(KANSAS CITY, MO) —Water.org announces 10 million more people in India can now turn on a tap or use a toilet in their homes due to the access to small, affordable loans made possible through a solution known as WaterCredit, helping to narrow the gap in universal water and sanitation.

“We have come so far in India — the birthplace of our solution, WaterCredit — with the scale of our impact and the number of lives changed,” said Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org, a global non-profit organization that helps people get access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing.

Water.org piloted and developed WaterCredit, a proven and sustainable solution that puts microfinance tools to work in the water and sanitation sector. Together with its 113 partners, Water.org has catalyzed small loans and expert resources to make household water and toilet solutions a reality for more than 21 million people worldwide, 10 million in India.

“Access to loans gives the people we empower the freedom to decide what is the most appropriate solution to meet their needs,” said Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Director, Water.org India. “And from the lenders’ point of view, they are comforted that the repayment rate is 99 percent. And they realize that lending for water and sanitation is good business and leads to huge improvements in the social and economic condition of their borrowers.”

Since 2005, Water.org has played a significant role in India’s progress towards improved water and sanitation. By working with 20 partners, including microfinance institutions, commercial banks and the Government of India, Water.org has helped mobilize more than two million loans in India to families in need of safe water and sanitation.

Globally, one in nine people lacks access to safe water and one in three lacks access to a toilet. Still, Bhandarkar remains optimistic that universal safe water and sanitation is achievable. Bhandarkar said, “We believe people in poverty have the capacity and the potential to solve their own problems provided that they have access to the right financial tools.”

Water.org is an international nonprofit organization that has positively transformed more than 21 million lives around the world with access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future.