NEW DELHI: The biggest challenge for CSR spending on water is identifying the right kind of projects and NGOs working in the space, said banker Naina Lal Kidwai on the occasion of World Water Day here on Saturday.
Kidwai, Director, HSBC Asia-Pacific and Country Head-India, said there was no lack of funding or good intent, but there weren’t enough proven role models or NGOs that presented themselves in India, particularly in the area of water and environment.
Under its $100-million, five-year water programme, HSBC, along with partners such as WWF India, WaterAid and Earthwatch, has been funding projects in nine States to improve water resource management in 10 key river basins.
“The biggest challenge for industry, therefore, is not the money which it will have to spend on CSR. It is the capacity of the NGO community to absorb the funding that will be tested, and industry will have to work hard to help the community scale up, with the involvement of citizens,” she said on the sidelines of an event.
Citing the example of the Ramganga river project, funded by HSBC and WWF India and spearheaded by the Moradabad district magistrate, Sanjay Kumar, she said, “We need more such champions, motivators to take forward the challenge of water and waste management.”
“We need 100 such role models so that 100 such projects can be created to push models such as in Moradabad. That is the challenge,” said Kidwai.
Under the multi-stakeholder Ramganga project, which aims to provide water security to communities, business and nature, a total of 275,000 people were reached out through campaigns, including one on saving Dolphins, the company said.
The biodiversity of the Ramganga river, which houses many aquatic species, has been under serious threat due to high levels of pollution, effluents and untreated sewage etc.