India - Access to Water for Drought-Stricken Villages

 

Maharashtra State in central India is a place of contrasts: It is home to the commercial hubs of Mumbai and Pune, but also to 70 million small-scale famers, who are dependent on regular rainfall for their subsistence.

The rural population was particularly hard hit by the drought of summer 2016 – one of the worst for decades. Around 330 million people were affected across India. In addition to low levels of rainfall in previous rainy seasons, the problem was exacerbated by inadequate water policies and the misuse of groundwater resources. Many small-scale farmers lost harvests and became dependent on aid deliveries. Knorr-Bremse Global Care decided to focus on a medium-term solution. The plan was to develop a sustainable water supply in the four worst-hit villages in the area around the city of Miraj, which is about a five-hour drive from the Knorr-Bremse site in Pune.

To start with, World Vision, a long-term partner of Knorr-Bremse Global Care, met the villagers’ basic needs by installing drinking water treatment plants in each of the four villages. This gave 1,370 families access to clean water. At the time of writing, this alone has given 650 children the chance of a healthier childhood by reducing the risk of diseases being spread through contaminated water. The “gram panchayat”, a kind of village council, plays a vital role in the plants’ sustainable management. It was the gram panchayats that provided the village land for the plants and took on the installation work. In future, they will also deal with any repairs.

In addition, 100 small-scale farming families received a drip-irrigation system for some of their fields in return for a small financial contribution. Indian experts trained the farmers in the best way to irrigate crops planted in rotation. Five new self-help groups give the farmers the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and help one another with maintenance tasks. These measures enable the famers to enjoy bigger harvests and a more balanced diet, but also to generate additional income that can be used for medical treatment or school expenses. Nandkumar is a farmer who has benefitted from the irrigation system. His 17-year-old son, Nishant, is delighted with the extra income from selling vegetables and flowers at the market: “Now I can complete my school studies and become an engineer!”

 

 

India - Access to Water for Drought-Stricken Villages

Focal Issue: WASH

Location: Miraj, District Sangli, Maharashtra, India

Beneficiaries:8,313 peopel will gain access to clean water

Estimated costs: 74,050 EUR

Project supervisor: Julia Thiele-Schuerhoff

Partner organization: World Vision Germany, World Vision India

Duration: March 2017 - March 2018

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