It is a water conservation project , which involves rejuvenation of Paapnaashi river and tributaries, which flows near most of the 15 villages. The project is divided into phases. First phase involves deepening and widening of the river. Second phase is repairing and building 41 check dams in total to increase the percolation of water in the area and boost the water table. The project which is estimated to be around 60 lakhs is being funded by villagers, government schemes and private donations with villagers taking the lead.
Global Parli’s inception took place with the initiative to provide water to these drought hit villages and bring it back on its feet. Last year, when the situation in Marathwada had reached its worst in 40 years with stored water going below 8% and they faced a drought for the 4th consecutive year, we ended up supplying over 1 crore liters of water to the thirsty villagers of Beed. After supplying water through tankers, the focus turned towards the current water utilization and conservation as we knew that this problem had to be addressed and uprooted from the base. A detailed survey of the Paapnaashi River was conducted to ascertain the reason for scarcity. The results were shocking.....
The survey revealed the river’s old structure was a deeper and wider version of the current water body. The banks of the river has been encroached by the villagers resulting into the blockage and narrowing of the river, which led to erosion and reduction in the depth and width of the river leading to reduced water percolation into the earth and less conservation of water.
Initially, we started with a water literacy campaign, where villagers were educated on proper water usage. The villagers were extracting water from the ground through bore wells; there were many bore wells within short distance of each other, giving very little space for the water to percolate in the ground, moreover there were no mechanism to store the water received during rains. This resulted into low levels of water stored. So the villagers were given training on farm bunding, watershed development, drip irrigation etc to increase their awareness on water restoration and conservation. Our main learning has been that with proper guidance and imparting of knowledge to villagers, most of the water related issues can be solved. The next step was the revival of the Paapnaashi River. The ambitious project needed tedious government approvals, part funding from government schemes and private funding. The decision to include funding from the villagers was a short in the arm with villagers contributing 20 and 30 rupees each which totaled up to around 20 lakhs.
The enthusiasm of the villagers to gather the contribution was built over the past one year, as a result of the developmental activities carried out by Global Parli including distribution of chicks and goats to encourage alternative sources of income, re-charging of over 50 bore wells, distribution of vegetable saplings for nutritional security, e-learning in schools, organisation of general and specialized medical camps like breast cancer and Pap smear (screening procedure for cervical cancer) detection for women, football and marathon training camps to engage youth etc .
After having completed the decisive step of collection of funds from the villagers, we started phase one of the project on 4th April 2017. It covers the widening and deepening of 15.61 kms of the river and building of a few check dams. It is expected to be completed in just 30 - 45 days despite the scorching sun in temperatures as high as 42 degrees.
This is the most crucial project as water is the most pressing need of the villagers and thus Global Parli is not going to leave any stone unturned, literally!