The World Bank has signed a $500 million (£302.6m) agreement with the Government of India to improve piped water supply and sanitation services in four Indian states.
The six-year project will support the design and implementation of the Indian Government’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) initiative in 33 districts in the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Around 7.8 million people living in rural areas are set to directly benefit from the initiative as they have the lowest coverage of tap water. Women usually bear the burden of securing daily water (pictured) as only 31% of the 167 million rural households in India currently have access to tap water and domestic toilets.
The project will also promote pilot programmes for water supply to be provided 24/7 and introduce new technologies in the RWSS sector, including the use of renewables such as solar energy.
Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary for Department of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Finance in India said: “Improving access to water and sanitation services through decentralised delivery systems is a development priority for the Government of India. Activities under this project will directly support the government’s efforts to meet these objectives.”