Maharashtra Drought

The drought situation in Maharashtra is recurrent and severe. However, since it is not caused by a sudden natural calamity, it does not receive public support and funding similar to other disasters.

In November 2018, the Maharashtra government declared drought in 151 tehsils out of 358 tehsils in the state. These tehsils are spread across 26 out of 36 districts. Of these 151, 112 tehsils were facing severe drought conditions, which meant more than 60% of crops have been damaged. The remaining 39 were facing moderate drought, where crop damage was more than 33.5%.

Aurangabad & Solapur are amongst the worst affected.  

The Chief Minister, in his visit to Solapur in October 2018, highlighted this and noted that with 38% rain registered, the water crisis can be compared to the 2015 drought. Almost 80% of total talukas had received less than 50% rain. Aurangabad has had an average of 51% rainfall in 2018. Kharif crops have collapsed due to the lack of rain and farmers have been unable to cultivate rabi crops. The resultant loss of livelihood poses the risk of crippling the rural community.

Drought affected communities require our immediate and long term support. In the immediate phase, they require support towards storage of water (since the government is making tanker water available), repair of pipelines and alternate livelihood measures. In the long term, they require sustained interventions towards watershed development.

Jal Sanjivani

We request your support towards interventions for immediate relief in both these districts.

SOLAPUR

An on-ground survey done of villages in the Barshi block of Solapur shows that the government has begun providing water tankers for drinking water supply. The tankers visit the village at specific times and the villagers need to commute long distances on foot to collect water. They also do not have adequate storage facilities and can, therefore, collect and maintain a very limited supply. This impacts their water consumption, health, cooking and household activities. The most adversely affected, are women and children.

In the villages surveyed, the old water supply systems are old and in need of repair on an urgent basis to avoid wastage of water and to ensure equal water supply to the community. These water supply systems are community water supply and need repairs such as changing of old pipes, old taps which are not working properly and are leaking. The water leakage is so much that only half of the water from the sources reaches the villagers.

Your support will help set up new storage tanks (20000 litres and 10000 litres) in 2 villages, replace the old damaged pipeline and extend the water supply line.

AURANGABAD

The need in Aurangabad is to help replenish groundwater levels and provide an alternate source of livelihood to help families tide over difficult times. Our intervention will aim to create an alternate source of livelihood for the rural community, while engaging them in soil and water conservation work and thereby increased the groundwater.

Interventions will include farm bunding, loose boulder structures, gully plugs and earthen nala bunds in 3 drought-affected villages. Families will be engaged in labour work required and will be compensated at Rs.500 per day. This wage rate is higher than the minimum wages of the MGNREGA scheme. The value addition to water storage and groundwater recharge as a result of the proposed interventions will be 61.65 TCM. We request your support towards interventions for immediate relief in both these districts.

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Jal Sanjivani
United Way Mumbai