Villagers Delighted with Tap Water in Their Homes, but Concerns Regarding Depleting Water Sources Remain

Water Reservoir
Photo by Gaurav Pandey

People of Manjra Makara village in Niwari block and district (Madhya Pradesh) are very happy that they now have tap water in their homes. They say that their daily life pattern has improved significantly as a result of this. Earlier they had to make several rounds to irrigation wells located about 2 km. from habitation. This water was not very clean and suitable for drinking, but then there was hardly any alternative. Only one hand pump was functioning properly in the village, leading to overcrowding around this. One family member had to be devoted to this task only. Most of the burden for this fell on women. School children also faced a lot of problems in getting clean and adequate drinking water.

Now thanks to the Jal Jeevan Mission their homes have a tap to which pipelines bring water for 40 minutes every day. Villagers I spoke to find this adequate for their needs. School children are also getting water properly now.

In neighboring Rajapur village also people are getting tap water. However this work got delayed here, and this led jal sahelis or women water and sanitation volunteers to approach the officials regarding the delay. The matter could then be sorted out and after some delay tap water reached here too.

Another problem some households faced here was that the tap connection was provided outside the village while they wanted this to be inside the house. Efforts to sort this out are being made by jal sahelis. Some taps installed outside were stolen and jal sahelis tried to get these replaced.

Now village life has improved with water available in home, and people have more time for productive work. The utilization of toilets too has improved with the ready availability of water at home. However at this point of discussion several dalit youths of this village intervened to say that many households in their settlement do not have toilets and did not receive the help of Rs. 12,000 each for their construction.

At the same time there are still several villages which are still waiting for their tap connections. In Khakraun village of Tikamgarh district, which is a very remote village, there is no sign yet of either taps or pipelines. The situation in Vijaypura village of Lilaitpur district is somewhat different. The people here told me that taps and even the water tank arrived much earlier and there was even a trial supply for some time. After this, however, there has been no water supply.

A few families in some villages who were away at the time of the ongoing work of pipelines complained that now they are being asked to pay Rs. 500 for the tap. However such complaints are not many.

However in villages where taps have started providing water, there is no doubt that there is much happiness regarding this. At the same time, there are concerns regarding the water sources from where water is to come into pipelines as groundwater level has been going down in most places and as the surface water sources are badly depleted during the lean season. Hence it is very important to increase and improve water conservation work at the same time.

In Mohangarh block of Tikamgarh district, for example, there is an ongoing watershed project supported by NABARD and implemented by Parmarth voluntary organization which shows much promise. Following the ridge to valley approach several soil and water conservations works are being taken up here, along with afforestation work. On the one hand farm ponds have been created, on the other hand weirs and check dam type structures have been created or are planned. Community involvement and livelihood support are also important components of this program. Conversations with several villagers here revealed that they are consulted and involved in various aspects of this program.  They have been taken on exposure visits to see good examples of results achieved by other watershed projects and this has motivated them further to contribute to the success of their local program. Pramod is a small farmer. He says that despite his small holding he agreed to create a farm pond on it because he realizes the importance of water conservation and he too must contribute to this.

The results of this are already visible to some extent in the rise of water level of wells and there are expectations of much further rise as the watershed project moves towards completion.

Such promising work is taking place in several other villages also. But there is a question mark regarding whether its scale as well as quality are adequate to meet the very substantial needs of water conservation. Both at quantitative and qualitative level this needs to increase and improve further.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Man over Machine, Navjeevan and India’s Quest for Sustainable Farming and Healthy Food.

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News