Motivators of the quarter-full story

Rainwater Harvesting - A Boon to Villagers

Tumkur is one of the fluoride affected district in Karnataka.  Madhugiri & Pavagada taluks are worst hit areas in Tumkur.  The average rainfall in the area is about 493 mm. Vegetative cover is very thin and hence soil erosion is more. More than 60% of the population lives below the poverty line.  Earlier these villages were facing acute water shortage with dried up water bodies.  The water table was so low that even after drilling 1200 to 1500 ft deep, the chances of striking water was bleak.  Even the little water available from the deeper layer was not potable for drinking purpose as it contained fluoride beyond the permissible limits. Bore well water is the main source of drinking water.  After conducting a baseline survey, it was found that 50% of the population is affected with fluorosis in the form of dental problems, joint and stomach pains.  To tackle the issue, BIRD-K is implementing Sachetana Drinking Water Project funded by Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in nine fluoride affected villages of Madhugiri taluka of Tumkur district.

The objective is to support 1000 families from nine villages in Chikkadalavatta Grampanchayat of Madhugiri taluk limits to ensure the availability of fluoride-free safe drinking water to the community though roof top rain water harvesting structures (RWHS).  To ensure improved ground water availability in the project villages through ground water recharge.

As on 24-06-2015 a total of 729 rainwater harvesting units were constructed and 108 farm ponds were excavated and four bore wells were recharged.  The field team has achieved strong social development through training and awareness programme and formation of Grama Vikas Samitees in villages.  Water quality testing and analysis has been achieved.  As a result, these villages are enjoying sustainable water supply.  Shanaganahalli one of the project villages, has 51 households. Now, 42 structures are constructed to avail drinking water.  Except two tanks all are having 4 feet of water and is being used by all the families.

 Participants Experience and their views

Rathnamma W/o of Nanjegowda (RWH capacity of 5521 lit.) & Pushpalathas’ (RWHS capacity of 5508 lit.) - Earlier, their husbands used to fetch drinking water from an open well of adjacent village located in the river bed.  This is one km away from Shanaganahalli.  Every day they bring two to three pots of water on scooter or bicycle, it needs half an hour.  Whenever husbands are away from village, these ladies collects water 6-8 times in a month.  After constructing RWHS, this difficulty has stopped.  Rathnamma  shares that, about 20 women folk from Agali village of Andra Pradesh, who came for a marriage, visited Rathnamma’s house to see the RWHS.  They enquired the details of the structure, its working function, cost, support, NGO involved etc. And expressed that, this kind of facility is not there in their village.  Women members greeted the work through their words and took 1 bottle of water.

Pushpalatha opines that, the RWH structure is a boon to her family and saved one hour per day which they were spending earlier to fetch two to three pots of water.

General Observation

Hospital visits per month: Families visiting hospitals 1 to 3 times / month has reduced from 71% - 52 % now.

Health expenditure per month: Families spending Rs.251 to Rs.1000/- which was 82% - 41%.

Change in number of working hours per day: Participants number working for 7 to 9 hours per day has increased to 71% - 10%.

Time spent on collecting water: 61% of participants spending up to 30 minutes per day and 39% of participants spending >45 minutes per day for collecting water has now reduced to 2 to 3 minutes in both the cases.

A tank of 7350 litre capacity was constructed in Narasimhamurthy’s house.  He says “we recommend the RWHS to our neighbors who have not taken it up yet.  As joint and stomach pains have reduced after we started consuming water from RWHS.