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Published byDerek Parmiter
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Kedwar village lies in a rocky and isolated part of Mirzapur district; largely inhabited by disadvantaged tribals.
The reddish water from the installed hand pumps has high iron content and is undrinkable.
This leaves the spring close to the lake as the nearest drinking water source…
but this is at a distance of 800 metres from the closest houses and the school!
Local primary school students would take a trek to the spring every lunchtime; and many would not return to class.
With school drinking water as the main concern; the villagers supported the building of a solar-powered pump.
A Jal Ganga Ekta Samiti was formed to oversee the process…
and the panchayat even agreed to donate land for the construction.
Technical expertise was provided to blast and widen the small stream; and a motor installed.
This is powered by solar panels; ensuring there are no problems due to the lack of electricity lines.
Whats more, a total of 315 labour days were contributed by the community during the construction !
Pipes are connected to a large 5000-litre tank outside the school.
This flows into a smaller 1000-litre tank thats easy to drink from for the children.
Water quality testing has shown less than 5 times the amount of iron compared to the handpump water.
By extension, it has also improved childrens hygiene and the preparation of mid-day meals.
With another 1000-litre tank in the middle of the village that benefits everyone…
fights no longer break out over water at the narrow stream and women have more time for other duties.
Responsibility for maintenance and running the motor lies with the Ganga Jal Samiti; and each family contributes Rs. 5 monthly for the upkeep.
Going forward are plans another tank closer to 26 families on the other side of the village; and the community pushing for irrigation streams to revive kitchen gardens.
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