The village of Vanaraniya, Sri Lanka, is an isolated community in the mountains that struggled for many years to obtain a consistent water supply. In the dry season, women had to travel long distances on foot to bring clean water back to their families. Local authorities and politicians did not help the village, so Ms. Kumari Darmaratna and other women launched an irrigation project called Vishska Society. They approached ECLOF Sri Lanka, a Mercy Partnership Fund investee, and received two loans. The capital was used to construct a small concrete dam and irrigation system from a natural waterfall four kilometers away from the village. They built a pipeline back to the village and once the first phase of the project was complete, more than 80 households were connected to running water.
The project now serves more than 275 families and has helped to increase sanitation in the village, reducing childhood diarrhea and other water-borne diseases. The project also allowed village women to create businesses such as gardening, brick making and raising poultry, helping them to become more confident, independent and leaders in the community. Vishska Society continues to work to maintain the infrastructure and expand the pipeline.
To learn more about the work of ECLOF International, visit its website. ECLOF International is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio. Learn more here.