Scanty rainfall hits water conservation project in Beed

Villagers are feeling helpless before nature. No water conservation method can work without rains. Crops have already failed

Beed : Deficient rainfall has poured cold water on civil society eff\orts to solve the perennial water crisis in Beed district of Maharashtra, leaving farmers staring at crop losses.

Braving heat, hundreds of people from 15 villages in the district took part in a 45-day-long ‘Shramdaan Abhiyan’ (voluntary labour campaign) in April-May to build infrastructure for rainwater harvesting.

However, lack of adequate rainfall in the district, which is part of the parched Marathwada region in Central Maharashtra, has rendered villagers’ efforts to overcome water crisis ineffective, at least for now.

The campaign was launched on April 8 by an NGO run by social activist and former AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, who has adopted these villages, having a total population of 30,590, for water conservation and preservation.

As part of the campaign by the NGO, Global Vikas Trust, locals dug trenches, farm ponds, watershed structures and check dams to preserve rainwater.

“Villagers, including women and young children, worked hard with machines and created over 80 crore litres of surface water storage capacity and 1,600 crore litres of underground storage capacity during the Abhiyan.

“But unfortunately, there has been very little rainfall in the district which is a matter of serious concern,” Gandhi told PTI.

“Villagers are feeling helpless before nature. No water conservation method can work without rains. Crops have already failed. Cotton plants have not grown beyond 9 inches (as against normal height of 4 feet). Hope, things will change soon,” he added.

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