One man’s efforts benefit all

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“Everyone contributed and worked hard,” says Pradeep Pawde, Manager of Kumbharwadi’s water budgeting. Photograph by Asavari Sharma.

Years ago, Kumbharwadi in Ahmedanagar district used to be a severely drought-hit area. Finally in the year 1998, this small village joined hands with WOTR, an NGO to combat the problem of water scarcity through watershed development. Six years later, there was ample water available for the village to feed and flourish. However, the happiness of the villagers was short-lived as they again started experiencing shortage of water. The reasons were obvious.

Firstly, the usage of water was not monitored. Secondly, due to shallow soil, water level started decreasing. This year when the village witnessed very little rainfall, Pradeep Pawde, a fed-up villager member, decided to seek WOTR’s help again. The NGO suggested water-budgeting. Pradeep immediately called a village meeting to get everyone’s support. “Luckily, everyone supported the idea. Half of the financial help came from the villagers only,” says Pradeep proudly.

Soon a water-budgeting table was painted on one of the houses in the village. “The table shows total area of the village, availability of water, temperature, pressure, wind intensity and speed, rainfall measurement of Kumbharwadi. It is updated every week,” explains Pradeep.

Pradeep has been managing the water-budgeting table for over one year now and the village has most certainly learnt a thing or two. “We have stopped growing tomatoes and onions that use flood irrigation.We are growing pomegranates this year as these fruits require less water. The people here are also using water more judiciously now.” he says.

To read the entire interview, click here.

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