Preventive Health Care and Education
Scarcity of drinking water has been a cause
of particular concern to most mountain
communities in Uttarakhand. Over the years,
we have taken up several projects to improve
the availability of water in mountain
Renovation of traditional sources eg
mountain springs (naula/dhara) has been
carried out under the leadership of women’s
groups. Construction of chal-khal and
jal talain (rain-water harvesting
percolation trenches) has proved extremely
beneficial for communities. The direct,
immediate benefit has been the increased
availability of surface water and a rise in
water-table leading to recharge of springs
and water sources.
Another initiative in the area of water
conservation has been the planting of
broad leaved trees around the trenches.
Contour bunds to prevent soil erosion
have also been constructed.
Regulatory systems for water use have
been introduced in villages where conflicts
over water were common. Villages where a few
influential people were taking a
disproportionately large share depriving
others, have also benefitted from decisions
taken in village meetings and rules made by
women’s groups that secure an equitable
right of everyone to water.
Low cost polythene lined water tanks
have been constructed in villages where
shortage of water is common, especially
during the summer season. Water stored in
these tanks is used for domestic purposes,
irrigation and fish culture.