Construction of the well
Mahandulwadi is a hamlet of the main village of Mandavgaon in Shrigondha block of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, in western India. The village is a part of 6-7 small villages/hamlets. Since it is in a drought-prone area, it constantly faced acute drinking water shortages. Despite government implementations of a regional drinking water scheme in 2012, the wells available locally lack a sustainable water source and often run dry during the summer months.
Without a reliable government plan to solve their water needs, Mahandulwadi villagers approached Blue Planet Network member, Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) for assistance. With the help of WOTR, the village worked through the many challenges of completing a water project.
The planning phase started in January 2014. The project plan was peer-evaluated by other Blue Planet Network members so that it could benefit from their experience. Physical work was initiated on 11 June 2014. The project required awareness generation, planning and organization of the community work, the identification of the water source and legal compliances of the land owner to allow for the project. The project was completed on 31 December 2014 and brought clean drinking water to over 900 people.
Tap connections on the doorstep.
A Water Committee made up of members of the community worked alongside the local governance council – Gram Panchayat – to complete the drinking water project by the end of 2014. This included the excavation and construction of the new well, the installation of 1,020 feet of underground pipeline and accompanying valves, the installation of a 5 horsepower submersible electric pump and new distribution pipeline, the installation of individual tap connections for water distribution, and the repairs of a 25,000-liter water tank and existing distribution pipelines. This joint action also provided two training sessions for the Water Committee on proper management of the new water system.
In spite of severe drought conditions in the area, Mahandulwadi’s well remains full. The members of the community, especially the women and children, are very happy about their new water supply. The well is in a central location, cutting the distance of fetching water down from up to 2.5 miles to just walking out their front door. The 2.5 mile trek to gather water used to take up to 4 hours every day. Now, children are able to spend that time concentrating on their studies or playing with their friends. The drudgery and tension women were feeling as they hauled water has been reduced.
Ms. Pramila Kashinath Deokar
Ms. Pramila Kahinath Deokar saw the severe water shortage her village was facing and, with the help of other women in the village, formed the Ambika Women’s Self Help Group. The women set up a Water Supply Committee to deal with the water issue. With assistance from Watershed Organizational Trust, a clean water project was implemented.
The new well provides clean water to a storage tank, which distributes it to households throughout the village. Through education provided by WOTR, Ms. Pramila has been able to teach the Self Help Group members how to purify their water using chlorine drops. Since gaining access to clean water, water-related health issues such as typhoid and diarrhea have declined.
Ms. Housabai Popat Pawar, 54 years old
Ms. Housabai Popat Pawar is the secretary of Shriram Women’s Self Help Group (SHG). She is also a member of the Village Health Committee (VHC) and Water Supply Committee.
Housabai used to spend around 4 hours a day gathering water before the well was built. Since the completion of the well, Ms. Housabai has enough water for all of her needs.
I can clean my house and wash clothes every day without worrying about not having enough water. Drudgery in the lives of women and children have reduced manifold. We have a lot of spare time at hand. I am extremely happy with this project and I hope that our lives get even better in future. – Ms. Housabai Popat Pawar
Thanks to this project, the water problem here is solved. People have fresh water every morning. They do not have to either queue or walk for hours to get water.
Mr. Ananada Amruta Darekar, 38 years old, Mahandulwa
Ananada Amruta Darekar lives in Mahandulwadi and experienced the water scarcity issues first hand, despite the government water programs. After WOTR was asked to implement a drinking water project, nine self-help groups for women were established to help with training and education. A Water Supply Committee was created to involve both men and women in the implementation of the project, of which Mr. Ananada is the president. The new well provides water to a storage tank that then distributes the water for 30 minutes in the morning through laid pipelines, providing, clean, drinkable water to the households of the village.
This successful project is the initiative of all the Mahandulwadi people with great support from Watershed Organizational Trust and Blue Planet Network. Without such support, the project was not possible. – Mr. Ananada Amruta Darekar