“Let Banks Make More WASH Loans” – First State Level Meeting
For the first time in Odisha, a state level workshop for banks was organized by the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) with Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM), UNICEF and Water.org here Saturday.
The workshop was organized with the aim of motivating banks operating in the state to provide small loans to households that do not have water and sanitation facilities in their homes. The event also gave details on the current status of water and sanitation in Odisha by UNICEF.
UCO Bank Managing Director and SLBC Organizer Arupananda Jena welcomed the august gathering of participants representing Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, RRB, SFB, Co-operative Banks, Senior District Managers and the OLM staff.
The keynote address was delivered by the Additional CEO, Odisha Livelihoods Mission Dr. Babita Mahapatra. She underlined the real collaboration between actors such as banks, OLM, UNICEF.
Head of Water and Sanitation, UNICEF India Nikolas Osbert highlighted WASH issues and solutions in Odisha. Similarly, WASH Specialist, UNICEF Shipra Saxena also shared her experience in the Odisha context about Swachhata and WASH.
Regional Director, Water. Manoj Gulati said Water.org would support banks in training and capacity building to equip them to provide loans to SHG leaders for water and sanitation.
Water.org has partnered with six financial institutions in Odisha and they have so far provided over 1.7 lakh of WASH loans with a disbursement of Rs 205 crore.
Sudhira Rath from Odisha Livelihoods Mission mentioned that the OLM strives to eradicate poverty through livelihood programs. The dasha sutra principles cover WASH and it has partnered with UNICEF and Water.org to promote alternative financing for access to WASH in 49 blocks in six districts of Odisha.
The success will be replicated in all districts in the years to come, he said.
AGM and head of SLBC, Odisha Lingaraj Nayak, urged banks that do not have a WASH loan policy to contact their head office to issue a suitable loan product.