Stories of Impact

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A Sunny Solution: Chennai Water Filtration Project

Funding from BBF has facilitated a solar-powered water filtration system at the Velappanchavadi Government School in Chennai, India. The filtration system, which includes a solar array, a solar-powered borewell pump, and a water storage tank with a platform, will provide clean water to the school’s 400 students and 12,000 surrounding residents.

The Velappanchavadi Government School serves as a cornerstone for the local community, providing essential educational services. However, a lack of reliable access to clean drinking water posed significant health risks and barriers to education, particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters. BBF partnered with Solar Village Project to address this critical need, installing a solar-powered, 1,000 liter per hour water filtration system to purify the water collected from the school’s borehole.

The project began just a month after Cyclone Michaung brought widespread flooding to India’s southern region in December 2023. In addition to taking 17 lives, the storm uprooted trees, collapsed walls and submerged roads in knee-deep waters.

The new filtration system has fortified the school and its surrounding community against the impacts of natural disasters by providing a dependable water source during emergencies. Access to clean drinking water will directly contribute to the health and well-being of students and residents, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases.

India’s long coastline exposes the continent to 10% of the world’s tropical cyclones, putting nearly one third of the population at risk of disease from water contamination and damaged infrastructure. 

A solar-powered borewell pump is installed at the Velappanchavadi Government School in Chennai, India, following BBF Global Relief’s grant to Solar Village Project.| Photo courtesy of Solar Village Project

The drinking water taps at the Velappanchavadi Government School before (left) and after (right) BBF’s water filtration project with Solar Village Project.  | Photo courtesy of Solar Village Project
The water filtration system is powered by solar panels, preventing the school from incurring additional electricity costs. | Photo courtesy of Solar Village Project
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