The Wallace Delhi Hope Project

Written by | Charity, Frontpage, Principal

The community of The Wallace High School has built strong links with the Asha Charity in New Delhi and sends groups of students and staff regularly to New Delhi to support the work of this inspirational charity which aims to improves the lives and outcomes of those who live in slum communities in the city. The School’s founder, Sir Richard Wallace was a generous philanthropist; his many gifts of generosity include the installation of the iconic Wallace drinking water fountains all over the world, financed by him to allow the poor to have access to clean drinking water.

In 2018 a series of celebratory events are taking place in Lisburn and London to acknowledge the work of this exceptional man, marking the bicentenary of his birth. As a living legacy, in the bicentennial year, a new Charity has been founded which aims to improve the access to clean water and to reduce the risk of disease carried in stagnant water, for the inhabitants of the Mayapuri Slum, New Delhi with which The Wallace High School has strong links.


Slums are the result of structural inequalities in society which have grown over the years owing to the industrial and commercial expansion in the city. Out of 16 million population in Delhi, more than 4 million live in slums. While 12 million population enjoy decent living conditions with better access to health and education, for the urban deprived, access to elementary services such as clean water, toilets, education and health is a daily struggle.

Surveys of urban poor households have shown that access to piped (treated) water supply varies between 15 and 48%. Between 18 and 39% households use hand-pumps, and remaining depend on public or community water sources such as stand posts, hand pumps, wells etc. Quantity of water supplied in slums is less than that recommended at 100 litres per capita per day. An Urban Basic Services Programme (UBSP) benchmark survey noted, supply to slum dwellers being less than 25 litres per capita per day. UNICEF states “Water safety refers to the level of risk to quality of drinking water; this level of risk acts as an indicator of how ‘safe’ that water is for consumption in terms of human health.”

The slum community of Mayapuri is an isolated and overcrowded area, sandwiched between Asia’s largest scrap market on one side and busy railway line on the other. There is a distinct lack of basic amenities such as clean drinking water, electricity, sanitation and even toilets.

Water supply in Mayapuri slum is very limited and whatever water they receive is of poor quality. One water tap caters to about 12-15 houses and is only available for couple of hours in the morning and evening.

The quality of water is very poor, contaminated with chemicals, smelly and coloured. It does not even conform to basic standards of hygiene, health and portability. The water is contaminated with harmful chemicals and radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Toxic content from nearby factories in Mayapuri is one of the major causes of contamination of water making it unfit for drinking purposes. Scrap units, Textiles dyeing, rolling and pickling units, cleaning and washing metal, disposal of chemicals, acids and other wastes in the nearby water bodies have polluted the water in Mayapuri. Not only the water is acidic, but it also contains heavy metals like iron, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel and lead. Factory waste water seeps into the groundwater, polluting the water from hand pumps.

Further, railway lines nearby are also a source of water pollution. People defaecating near the railway lines is a common practice. These wastes get contaminated with water supply which makes it more dangerous.

Nearly all the tenements located along a railway line have at least one person down with “the fever,” as people here call it – in reference to malaria, dengue and chikungunya – These can be fatal if not treated in time.

 The Wallace Delhi Hope Project will focus on providing clean drinking water to about 490 households catering to about 5000 slum dwellers.

The Objectives are as follows:

Objective 1- To install portable water filter with multi stage purification in domestic households of Mayapuri slum for supply of clean, drinking, water fit for consumption.

ActivitiesStandardized water filters will be procured and distributed to slum households. It will also be ensured that that surroundings around stored filtered water is neat and clean and there is no contamination in the clean filtered water. 23 litres of clean filtered portable water will be available to each household at any given moment of time for consumption.

Outcomes The following outcomes are envisaged from this activity.

  • Supply of Clean. Drinking and Portable water to selected households which is one of the necessities of life.
  • Better health for community residents specially children, pregnant ladies and other vulnerable members of the community.
  • Prevention of water borne diseases and enhancing quality of life for the residents.
  • Increase in productivity and reduction in economic loss due to illnesses.
  • Promoting Health Seeking Behaviour in the community.
  • Ensuring other positive outcomes linked to consumption of clean, pure, hygienic water.

Objective 2To adopt Anti-larval measures like fumigants, spray chemicals and others in pools of stagnant water, drains and other collection of water bodies to control the spread of viral and other vector borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya etc.

Activities-  Pools of water bodies, blocked drains, stagnant water in the slum localities of Mayapuri is the main source of vector borne diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria, Brain fever amongst others. The presence of industrial chemicals and toxic wastes due to industries located nearby makes the situation even worse. Since stagnant water bodies and blocked drains are one of the main breeding grounds of mosquitoes, flies and other insects which are the main carriers of infections and germs, anti-larval measures like spraying of fumigants, chemicals and other insect killing techniques in accordance with WHO and Government guidelines will be adopted to prevent the spread of infections. Asha team will meet the doctors and government officials responsible for Mayapuri slum to get their inputs and develop a framework and schedule for implementing anti-larval measures. The anti-larval measures would be implemented two days a week every month and the frequency would be increased to three days per week in the monsoon.

Outcomes- The following outcomes are envisaged from this activity.

  • Destroying mosquitos and other insect breeding grounds which breeds and develops in pools of stagnant water, blocked drains etc. and prevent spread of vector borne diseases.
  • Outcomes related to disease free society.
  • Positive health linkages.
  • Better cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Preventing deaths, loss of work and better economic output due reduction of diseases.
  • Better Health Outcomes.

Objective 3- To launch a campaign on Awareness and Sensitisation on Safe water, health and sanitation outlining the health hazards, prevention of diseases and underlining the importance of clean, healthy and portable water.

Activities– Awareness and Sensitisation is one of the key elements of any Health and Advocacy programme. Hence, a strong component of Awareness and Sensitisation leading to Behavioural Change will be implemented. According to UNICEF, there is more than 15% gap in awareness and practice of storage of drinking water in safe and hygienic place. In slums, this gap would be wider and may reach up-to 50%. The objective is to reduce the gap between Awareness and Practice through Behavioural Change Communication Module.

The broad topics which will covered are as under: –

  • Awareness on necessity and importance of safe, clean, clear and odourless drinking water.
  • Promoting usage of filtered water.
  • Better health outcomes associated with use of filtered drinking water for the family.
  • Awareness on proper storage of filtered water in clean and hygienic conditions and keeping it covered.
  • Awareness on prevention of water borne diseases.
  • Anti-Larval techniques for cleaning and purification of stagnant water.
  • Sensitizing people on advantages of clean surroundings, healthy environment with minimum incidence of infections and diseases resulting in productivity increase, prosperity and thus creating a Win-Win situation for everyone.
  • Health Education.
  • Meetings with Sanitary Inspectors and Government officials.
  • Promoting Health Seeking Behaviour.
  • Awareness on improving water purification and management to reduce risks of water borne infectious diseases.
  • Stakeholder Segmentation in promoting Behavioural Change.

The methodology adopted for spreading awareness and sensitisation are workshops, rallies, posters, community meetings and other interactive session. Also, Mahila Mandal (Women’s Group) and Bal Mandal (Children’s Group) in Mayapuri will organise meetings for promoting Awareness and Sensitisation of the community and inducing behavioural change towards usage of clean and safe drinking water as well as towards purification and management of stagnant water. Further, Asha’s Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) will conduct house to house campaign on the issue of safe drinking water and purification of stagnant water.

OutcomesThe following outcomes are envisaged from this activity-

  • Community becomes aware on necessity and utility of safe drinking water for livelihood and sustainability.
  • Inducing Behavioural Change towards usage of safe drinking water.
  • Proactive action towards prevention of diseases and infections.
  • Awareness on purification and management of stagnant water.
  • Promoting Health Seeking Attitude and Behaviour in Mayapuri slum.
  • Awareness on Attitudes and Practices leading to Better Health Outcomes.

ConclusionThe “Lisburn/Delhi Hope Project” is designed to ensure that safe, portable, clean drinking water free from harmful chemicals and radiations is available to slum dwellers of Mayapuri. Further, pools of stagnant water and drains which are the main sources of vector-borne diseases and infections are disinfected and cleaned with Anti-larval measures.

The key outcome envisaged is improving health of the community at Mayapuri, which is directly correlated to better economic productivity, reducing the disease burden, improving health seeking behaviour. ensuring clean and disease-free environment resulting in number of positive spin-offs and linkages.



        Activities Total Cost in GBP
Installation of Water filters. This includes cost of filters, GST, transportation and logistics for installation.   22,000.00
Purification of stagnant water- Anti Larval measures in the area covering 500 houses.   10,000.00
Promotion and Education of entire community (workshops, seminars, rallies, sanitation drives etc.)   10,000.00
Community Health Volunteer Expenses     5,000.00
Collaboration with local government officials and town committees     1,500.00
Programme support costs (Rental of the resource centre, stationary, charges for water and electricity for the centre)     3,500.00
Administration Costs     4,000.00
Monitoring and Evaluation of the project     1,500.00
Establishment costs     5,000.00
Total   62,500.00


Note for the Budget:

  • Budget as a starting point
  • Have identified some options for water purification
  • Identified Anti Larval measures
  • Number of families that can be assisted will depend on the resources available. Accordingly, modifications in the budget can be made.

Donations can be made directly to the School or via the my donate page:

Last modified: April 19, 2018