NABARD, along with its NBFC subsidiary NABSAMRUDDHI, commemorated World Water Day on 22 March 2024 by launching the first phase of a nationwide Climate Ready WASH funding awareness campaign for women JLG borrowers of Micro Finance Institutions, to take forward the common mandate of sustainable rural development.

The event to kickstart the same, at NABARD Mumbai, was inaugurated by Shri Shaji K.V., Chairman, NABARD who, in his keynote address, emphasised the criticality of water availability for the marginalised segments and the need to focus on impact rather than returns to support them. To quote him, “Water is a public good but the water balance is changing due to climate change. It is the most marginalised who face the brunt of climate risk and their livelihoods are getting affected. NABARD being a public finance institution is looking at innovative solutions to support the most needy segment by partnering with Panchayart Raj Institutions, Civil Society organisations, Government agencies to create a larger impact. Awareness generation is key to such solutions.  Our subsidiary NABSAMRUDDHI has piloted the Climate Ready WASH funding programme under which the campaign for creating awareness among end borrowers has been kick-started today, with support from NABARD. The mainstreaming of the initiative will help to address these challenges as well”.

NABSAMRUDDHI has been providing concessional wholesale WASH loans by availing refinance from NABARD, blended technical support from its partners Water.org, FINISH Mondial, to foster sustainable livelihoods. So far, 45 Million USD of WASH funding has been provided by the NBFC through 32 partner institutions, covering 75,000 end borrowers, 90% of whom are women.

The campaign will cover 40 block level camps in climate vulnerable areas in 7 states in phase 1 through FINISH Mondial. To support the same, 3 exposure visits had been conducted for stakeholders since NABSAMRUDDHI pioneered the programme in November 2023, while 8 term loans have been sanctioned.

Dr. Rajendra Singh, Waterman of India and Smt. Vedika Bhandarkar, International President and COO, Water.org addressed the gathering through Video messages.

Shri Manoj Gulati, Regional Director, South Asia, Water.org and Shri Ravi Krishan Takkar, Chairman NABSAMRUDDHI addressed the gathering.

Smt. Bonani Roychoudhury, Managing Director, NABSAMRUDDHI underscored COP27 and COP28 declarations on climate resilient WASH, and emphasised the need for collaborative action in funding the last mile segment. According to her “Financing such solutions is expected to result in climate risk mitigation and adaptation for the vulnerable and augment health, productivity, incomes, quality of life of rural women while addressing the issues of gender equity, empowerment, safety and dignity”.

The event was attended by Shri G.S. Rawat and Dr A. K. Sood, DMDs of NABARD, Senior Officials of NABARD, Banks, MFIs, NBFCs and technical partners Sa-dhan, GIZ, among others.

The programme was taken up to address the adverse impact of climate change on safe water and sanitation, as a climate crisis majorly manifests as a water crisis, through droughts, floods, melting glaciers, cyclones and salinity of water tables induced by rising sea levels.

The products to be covered for financing will include majorly the following 4 solutions:

  1. Climate smart toilets
  2. Rainwater harvesting for borewell recharge
  3. Rainwater harvesting for storage
  4. Solarisation of pumps

An IEC video on NABSAMRUDDHI’s WASH funding initiatives, developed by Water.org was released on the occasion. Also, 2 brochures brought out by NABARD on water budgeting were launched.

A MOU was also signed between NABSAMRUDDHI and Climate Policy Initiative(CPI) on the occasion to collaborate on financing Climate smart solutions.

NABSAMRUDDHI:

NABSAMRUDDHI Finance Limited is a NBFC subsidiary of NABARD, which promotes non agriculture  sector with an ESG focus primarily through wholesale finance to NBFCs/NBFC-MFI/HFCs/ Section 8 companies and trusts. The focus areas are Green and Wellness Finance (including WASH as a champion sub-segment), Fabrics & Textiles value chain and Handicrafts. It has emerged as a leader in WASH financing, being the largest wholesale WASH lender among homegrown NBFCs, largest provider of WASH loans across all sectors and risk spectra, the only NBFC providing wholesale debt for last mile WASH and a pioneer in Climate Ready WWASH funding.

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