Water and sanitation human rights for stone quarry communities at Wagholi, India

  • Madeleine Jenkins


SANTULAN is an Indian Non-Government Organisation working to provide advocacy, education and health facilitation access to basic human rights for stone quarry workercommunities in India. Engineers Without Borders (EWB) volunteers were employed to workalongside SANTULAN’s existing programs and to conduct research into the water and sanitationissues faced by the stone quarry communities. This case study was developed based on fivecommunities located near the Wagholi Township. It consisted of the assessment of the existing watersources and sanitation conditions and evaluating their subsequent health risks, in order to determinewhether they are a violation of human rights and whether recommendations for improvement canbe developed. Information was gathered based on observation, interviews/surveys with communitymembers and SANTULAN staff, meetings with the Gram Panchayat (Local Self-Government) andwater quality testing. Overall, it was found that the stone quarry communities do not have adequateaccess to clean, safe and reliable drinking water provisions, nor do they have adequate sanitation.Consequently, this poses significant health, financial, environmental and social consequences for thecommunities. India strongly supports the right to water and sanitation and has a duty to respect,protect and fulfil these commitments. However, in the case of the stone quarry communities, theseobligations are not being met. This research will provide valuable support for SANTULAN in theform of documentational evidence to feed into an advocacy based approach for improving access tosafe water and sanitation for stone quarry communities.


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