Have we, here in the UK, been experiencing a monsoon? For people in some parts of the country there have been torrential downpours and uncontrollable depths of water – none of which is possible to trap or to drink.
How would we feel if it happened every year of our lives? Ruining our homes, spoiling our food, and making eating, sleeping and washing to keep clean impossible?
And, unlike the UK, all of this happening in unbearable steamy heat.
Millions of villagers in India experience the monsoon every year of their lives: mud houses and thatched roofs are damaged, children unable to go to school, livestock marooned or drowned, all tracks or roads out of the village under water and food difficult to access. There are no rescue teams here, no boats to help people to safety.
These are the people Jeevika works with: the poorest of the poor.
Our water development projects with our partner organisations in Orissa and Tamil Nadu work with the villagers to dig large water catchments to help collect the water from the monsoon. This can then be used to water crops when the rain has stopped and to provide water for livestock.
To these ponds they sometimes add fish seedlings which grow into large fish that support their family’s nutrition and help generate a little income from the surplus of fish sold in the local market.
We also provide water catchment tanks on the roofs of schools so that there is clean water for drinking and for the sanitation facilities we provide. The children use the harvested water on their vegetable gardens and trees which we sponsor in the school grounds so that they may learn to become self-sufficient and environmentally-aware.
It doesn’t solve all the problems that these villagers live with during and after the monsoon, but it does help.
Have you experienced any of the recent flooding in the UK?
Flood image courtesy of Mango World Magazine.