Garo villagers in North East India quench for safe drinking water
Rangira Bolsalgre, a few year back was inflicting with various water born diseases during monsoon. But today, they are a happy lot as their village has access to safe drinking water. Thanks to the united idea, the villager's decided to bring to task the concerned authorities. West Garo Hills Community Resource Management Society intervened in their good idea. Under the Swajaldhara scheme of the union government the village is now availing safe and potable water supply.
"Earlier, we use to drink water from streams, springs dug out by crabs…now with Swajaldhara we have safe drinking water at our doorstep…all the villagers are happy. I am happy!" said Saren M Sangma, Village Headman. Further he added "Now, we don't have to drink dirty water, this is the best part…and our women don't have to climb up or down the hills to fetch water…water accessibility has become easy for us".
The village has received the gravity flow system under the scheme. The need for this arised as the villagers had to walk at least 2-3 kilometres to the nearby springs, streams and rivers to fetch water earlier. And during rainy days they had to consume contaminated water.
"During rainy days it was very difficult for getting safe drinking water. But today there is no such difficulty. No Problem! But river and streams are drying up and this is a major challenge. There are very rare cases of villagers inflicting dysentry or stomach pain" an elderly from the village said.
The villager said that in most of the areas streams were drying up and there is a need for conservation and they are doing their bit to safe it. For the scheme to be formulated, a committee had to be formed at the village level. The West Garo Hills Community Resource Management Society has been instrumental in the formation of the Village water Supply and Sanitation Committee.
In this village two dams have already been constructed to store water. The water treatment plant is constructed under the scheme and pipeline is connected to different household in the village. There are about 20 households in this village located about 20 kilometres from Tura town.
This village is an example of the saying that when there is a will there is a way. This is a model for the rest of the villages in the North East and Meghalaya in particular that through committed initiative and cooperation among the village community all odds and obligations can be surpassed.