Water Conservation: Experts emphasize on rediscovering traditional methods

PATNA - ‘Fear of goiter led to rejection of rain water’ was a kind of superstition prevailed among the people of North Bihar. The water abundant region traversed with seven large rivers has poor quality of ground water in almost all the 22 district of North Bihar. The water is immensely affected by large amount of Iron, arsenic, and fluoride.

‘Our grass root movement of preserving cloud water which is clean and healthy, is getting momentum. Megh Pyne Abhiyan(MPA) (Cloud Water Campaign) has been observed since 2005 and successfully dispelling the ignorance and superstitions related to rain water and simultaneously, re-discovering the traditional method of water conservations and its purifications’ said Eklavaya Prasad, Leader and Practitioner of MPA which is funded by Arghyam foundation.

‘People of this region have been suffering from stomach related problems; richer have option to buy water purifier but poor’s don’t. Our efforts led to construction of ‘Pot purifier’ at very low cost, water testing techniques, construction of eco-toilets etc to minimize expenditures over medicines which are directly related to their livelihood’ added Eklavya, who was earlier, associated to Center of Science Environment.

Mr. Prasad, 40-year-old, also observed that the people of flood affected region have been losing the art of digging well which is, naturally perfect way of cleansing the drinking water. The wider relying on hand pumps, which is not yielding pure water, infected with chemicals and biological elements but also affected the ground water table.  

MPA leader, Mr. Prasad analyzed the hand pump culture started in the region after completion of Kosi Embankments in 1962. This led to negation of age old ‘well’ culture. A well has inbuilt water purification functions.

Two days symposium was organized by MPA and Advanced Center for Water Resources Development And Management (ACWADAM), here, on arguments, processes and technologies for establishing alternative and sustainable drinking water and sanitation security in flood areas of Bihar.

MPA has been intervening in 5 districts of  Supaul, Saharsa, Khagariya, Madhubani and West Champaran in partnership with five grassroots organizations like Gramysheel, Kosi Seva Sadan, Samta, Swarajya Vikash Sangh and Water Action.     

Speaking on the occasion, State Disaster Management Minister, Renu Kumari Kushwaha explained the govt. initiatives regarding water management.

Villagers who are associated with this campaign also participated in the seminar and put shared their encouraging experiences and success stories.

Banglore based Arghyam  advisor, S Viswanathan, explicitly presented through photographs and experiments that how the people of flood affected region could be benefitted by adopting sustainable means.

Cecilia Ruben of Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) presented a case study on how the human wastes could be used as crops and plants nutrients. Her experiment was successfully implemented in Zimbabwe.

The symposium was co-organized by by SEI, Ford Foundation, UNICEF, FANSA and Arghyam.

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