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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs