News / Asia

Indian Villagers Look to Sky for Water Supply

Indian Villagers Look to Sky for Water Supplyi
X
October 04, 2013 6:49 PM
At least 11 percent of the global population does not have access to improved drinking water sources. And although the situation has improved in India, the United Nations says the world's second most populous country still has some 97 million people living without a safe water supply. VOA New Delhi correspondent Aru Pande travels to a village in northern India where residents are turning to ancient water gathering practices.
Aru Pande
Turning on a tap to get clean water is not an option for Bilkish Bano.

The mother of four, like many others villagers in the Mewat district of India’s northern Haryana state, pays up to $20 every two weeks to buy water from a private tanker.
 
“It’s a big problem for us," Bano said. "Most poor people do not have a choice, even if they can not afford it, they have to buy water for their whole family.”
 
The United Nations says more than 780 million people worldwide, or 11 percent of the population, do not have access to drinking water sources that are not "improved," or protected from outside contamination. In places like Sub-Saharan Africa, at least 40 percent of people do not have improved drinking water.
 
India has made some progress. Some 522 million people gaining a safe drinking water supply between 1990 and 2010. Still, the United Nations says the world's second most populous country has about 97 million people living without access to improved water sources. Tens of thousands of villages remain disconnected.

Harvesting rainwater
 
Residents in Bano’s village say authorities built a 100,000-liter tank, and the necessary infrastructure, about a decade ago, but they have yet to see a drop of water flow through the pipelines.

Bano’s house sits just across the road from an area where villagers have dug holes in order to collect water during the hot, dry months that precede monsoon season.
 
The Gurgaon-based Institute for Rural Research and Development is encouraging villagers to return to traditional rainwater harvesting during the monsoon season.

In the last three years, the non-governmental organization has helped install pipes, 20,000 liter tanks and filters in at least 15 homes, along with one 100,000 liter tank to serve the needs of the entire community. IRRAD says some 250,000 people in the area are benefiting from collecting and filtering rainwater from their rooftops.
 
Samedin Khan works with his fellow villagers to install the systems in homes. He gestures to the pipelines as he describes how rainwater harvesting has drastically improved people’s lives.
 
“They have benefited a lot. During monsoon season, they used to have to buy water. Now for five months [out of the year], they don’t have to buy any water," said Khan. "They use this for drinking, cooking, everything.”

Traditional ways
 
IRRAD CEO Jane Schukoske says traditional methods need to be revived to provide low cost, sustainable access to safe water. Especially as scientists warn the majority of the world’s estimated 9 billion people will face severe water shortages within two generations due to climate change and pollution.
 
“What we see in India is replicated in places around the world," said Schukoske. "People are finding the water tables are getting deeper and there is much more contamination of water.”
 
The impact of the rainwater harvesting system can be seen at the local school in Mewat district’s village of Khanpur, where teacher Mohammad Sarfuddin says enrollment is up, particularly for girls, who no longer have to walk up to 3 kilometers to get water for their families.
 
“It’s made a difference,” he said as he looked out over his classroom.  “The children in Mewat are learning and more kids are coming to school. Out of 265 students, some 180 are girls.”
 
Although they remain keenly aware of the uncertainty associated with the natural water source, the villagers in Mewat district hope they can count on the monsoon rains to refill their tanks each year.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: M Valliappan from: Karaikudi,Tamilnadu,India
October 06, 2013 11:49 PM
We loose significant quantity of water during transportation. Normally 15% leakage is allowed as per Standards to maintain water pressure within the distribution systems. There is a misconception in using this allowance. If any leakage happens due to material degradation issues, water management authorities refer this unintentional leakage to the intentional norms. Strictly speaking our country loses huge volume of water through leakages. In turn this leads to contamination since most of the drinking water pipelines have been laid close to the sewer systems. There are many instances of corrosion induced water leakages in India. Water management agencies should implement the necessary protocols for conserving this water and aim for identifying alternate storage mechanisms as well as replenishing the depleted water bodies. Our traditional temple centric water tanks needs to be properly maintained. We can see a large number of such tanks in rural side.

by: Rajratna Phadtare from: Mumbai,Mharashtra,India
October 05, 2013 7:53 AM
Yes true it is. but most of the villages nearby talukas are getting water supply through water connectivity.About 85% villages are having water supply thro overhead tanks and water connectivity but the villages are far away from the Talukas(sub district centers) are dependent on on well water or other sources. Government is implementing various operational methods to supply pure drinking water to villagers.The fact is that the water table is gone far down than required so there is dire need of rain harvesting system to be implemented in every village.The use of water irrigation for grains,vegetable and sugarcane shall be done by drip irrigation system,which the government is promoting/implementing successfully,But still then rain water harvesting is becoming must for every villages and small cities to increase water table.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs