Water is a basic human need; over a 3 million people do not have access to safe water in Sri Lanka. This is a problem that affects over three million people with half of them being children (National Water Supply & Drainage Board,n.d.,). Thus, water can transforms lives of children. Deeply committed to helping children build brighter futures, Access International Projects together with Daikin Air-conditioning India provided Bible Medagama Yatiella Kanishta Vidyalaya the gift of water recently.
Additionally, in line with parent company the Access Group’s vision of helping future generations for the betterment of the nation, Access International Projects together with Daikin Air-conditioning India initiated its first corporate responsibility programme of drilling a tube well and providing the school’s drinking water & sanitation facilities.
Located in the Monaragala district, Yatiella Kanishta Vidyalaya is a mixed primary school with over 80 students and classes from Grades 1 to 5. Recognised as an impoverished area in the country’s dry zone, access to clean water continues to be a perennial problem for communities in the region.
Despite being established 31 years ago the school faced many challenges due to water scarcity. A kind neighbour would supply the school with part of the water quota, by filling up a plastic tank on a weekly basis. Staff and students were deeply affected, children the hardest. It was a daily occurrence of filling up bottles and buckets where teachers would visit neighbouring houses, which were located a fair distance from the school with the smaller children for restroom facilities.
The children also did not have access to drinking water and consumed only the water brought to school which was grossly inadequate and as result remained thirsty until they returned home.
In consultation with the Bibile – Medagama Zonal Education Department which allocated the school, Access International Projects auspiciously began work on the project on World Water Day 2018. The project was completed over a period of one and a half months costing over LKR 2.3 million. Access International Projects together with Daikin Air-conditioning India bored a tube well over 163 feet deep and constructed a tank to hold over 2000 litres of water. Sanitary amenities, sinks and taps were also fixed providing the school the long awaited dream of access to water. “We understand access to clean water can transform the lives of entire communities. Especially for children to enable them to further their education without having the added hassle of having to worry about issues like water and sanitation. By providing Yatiella Kanishta Vidyalaya students’ their basic needs of water and sanitation, we have contributed towards helping then become assets to the community and catalysts for a better future. As a company we intend to continue this momentum by gifting water to an underprivileged school on a yearly basis empowering the students and their communities,” said Brian Obeysekere, Managing Director Access International Projects.
The parents and teacher of Yatiella Kanishta Vidyalaya manage a small home garden at the school which enables them to sell the produce and expand the school premises. This too is now benefited as the new supply of water will enable the expansion of their crops and sufficient supply even during drought.