Tag Archives: microcredit

India, Tamil Nadu: housing and toilets for women self-help groups

Photo: IVDP

An Indian NGO that provides housing and toilets for women’s groups was a finalist in the 2010 World Habitat Awards. Established in 1979, the Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) mobilises poor women to form self-help saving groups (SHG).

Some 6,700 groups have been established do far, each of which is made up of 12 to 20 disadvantaged women. IVDP has sourced affordable credit lines for the members of the saving groups, enabling the construction of 24,705 houses and 17,000 toilets. Awareness-raising campaigns help improve wider vulnerable groups’ understanding of water, sanitation and personal hygiene practices.

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Peru: US$150,000 in microcredit provide sanitation access to thousands

The Creating Sanitation Markets or Alternative Pro-poor Sanitation Solutions (APSS) in Peru Initiative has reached a new milestone, allocating over US$150,000 in credit towards improved sanitation for people otherwise ineligible for commercial loans.

A recent Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) market research poll discovered many potential sanitation customers in Peru are ineligible for a sanitation credit since their income is above the limit to receive support from governmental programs, but below the expected salary to be eligible for a commercial loan (US$50 to US$170 per month). Recognizing the growing demand for sanitation products among these customers, small local businesses affiliated with the Initiative, such as hardware stores, have begun accepting payment in installments. This allows people who do not qualify for a loan, or who feel more confident dealing with their local storekeeper, to have a viable opportunity to invest in a new bathroom for their homes.

The local business owners assume the risk for the loan, which is provided to customers who have a working relationship with the business owner. Typically the loans do not bear interest or additional charges.

APSS is a public-private alliance headed by the Peruvian Government through the Vice Ministry of Construction and Sanitation of Peru (VMCS), Lima’s public water utility (SEDAPAL), the National Direction of Environmental Health (DIGESA) of the Ministry of Health, the World Bank, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Americas Fund (FONDAM), the Ensemble Foundation and the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) administrated by the World Bank (WSP). APSS is implementing in five pilot zones of Peru. These localities are representative of the diverse cultural, geographical and social conditions of the country: the urban marginal areas, rural areas, small towns; the coast, the highlands and the jungle regions.

Read a 2008 background paper on the APSS “Building inclusive sanitation markets for the poor” by Malva Rosa Baskovich.

Visit the Creating Sanitation Markets web site for more information.

Source: WSP Access, Dec 2009

Bangladesh: microfinance agencies enable entrepreneurs to provide more sanitation technology options

Over the last five years in Bangladesh, more than 90 million people have moved away from open defecation. While 88 percent of the population now have access to, and are using latrines, ensuring the quality and sustainability of these latrines is crucial. Without ready access to micro-credit and in the absence of well marketed technology options, many households are under pressure to move from very low cost to very high cost technology options with a significant debt burden.

In July 2009, the Association for Social Advancement: ASA (a leading Micro-Finance Institute) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dhaka Ahsania Mission (a national non-governmental organization) to provide loans at low interest to local small entrepreneurs for producing, marketing, and promoting appropriate sanitation technology options.

Dhaka Ahsania Mission will pilot the new financing mechanism in Jamalpur Sadar Upazilla (a sub district) with trained entrepreneurs. The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) facilitated this process of linking local private manufacturers with micro-finance agencies to bring finance and technology together to make available a range of affordable sanitation options for households.

Source: WSP Access, Oct 2009

Sierra Leone: Sidiki Mansark “Water is life and we want to bring it to the people”

Mansark lives and works in Kroo bay slum, in the centre of the capital Freetown, home to 13,000 people, which has two working public water taps. Kroo Bay is littered with rubbish and sewage – many people use the rubbish to reclaim land on which to build ramshackle houses.

There are no pit latrines in the slum; most residents use the beach or one of the few drop toilets constructed on it. On discovering a natural spring in the slum, Mansark decided to set up a youth cooperative, the Water Sie Boys, to run a public shower for slum-dwellers. [Water Sie Boys received US$9,000 to set up the community shower from the government Youth Employment Secretariat (YES)] . Set up in 2008, YES, supported by the UN Development Programme, has established a fund of US$700,000 to distribute grants and micro-finance loans to youth groups.

[…] “We used to have a machine to pump water into our containers, but it has been broken for months now, so now we fill up the tanks by hand.

“If you want a shower, you pay 3 US cents (100 Leones) and you can take five minutes, or we will give you a bucket of water. People need soap so we started to make it [soap] too.

“We are 20 working here – but I want to increase the number. We get by – every now and then we have to put in $1.50 to sustain our business. We want to expand it to other zones in the slum. We could employ 40 people because we always have enough customers.

“We don’t have roofing materials and we don’t have money to plaster our showers. The women’s shower is the worst – it is mouldy – but it is not their fault. None of us are trained. I did not know anything about plumbing but now I have learned. There is one plumber in the slum who helps us.

“Now everyone comes to us when they want a shower. We are not rich but water is life, and we want to bring it to the people.

SourceIRIN, 24 Mar 2009 ; IRIN, 24 Mar 2009