THE problem of drinking water faced by people of villages in Kutch’s Abdasa taluka may soon be over. With help from NGOs, panchayats and paani samitis (water committees) representing the 160 villages will get together in Nalia to initiate a programme on Thursday under which every village will develop its own drinking water well.
The programme called “Pani Thea Panjo” (This Water is Ours) will ensure that the wells don’t run dry even during a drought. This will be done by constructing a dam, a small lake or a recharging system near the wells. Local NGOs Sahjeevan and ACT (Arid Communities and Technologies) have prepared a planning document based on a year-long study undertaken in each village to identify the acquifers in which sweet water can be maintained. Sanjeev Virmani of Sahjeevan said village elders took active part in the survey by explaining geology of their villages and identifying acquifers. Slim bores were dug to ascertain the presence of sweet ground water. The study was carried out under supervision of geologist Dr Yogendrasinh Jadeja.
The idea of having a comprehensive plan for the entire taluka occurred when Nalia panchayat developed a large recharge dam that has improved water quality and raised the level in the village water supply well. “Nalia residents contributed Rs 2.5 lakh to make their town of 15,000 self-dependent for water needs. Sahjeevan and ACT provided them with technical guidance while financial assistance came from Pravah, a network of NGOs working on water,” Virmani said.
Dadamapar’s paani samiti has dug the well and installed a recharge pit replete with a solar pump. “Though the solar pump is cheaper, unlike an diesel pump, it does not invite recurring costs,” he said. Virmani further added that need for a comprehensive plan for drinking water was felt when a status report prepared in 2005 indicated that only 29 villages have safe drinking water while around 95 villages had a perennial water crisis
Ahmedabad Newsline - Ahmedabad,India