Tribal people bring water to their two villages

Around 100 families in Odisha contributed money, labour for the project

April 24, 2020 11:44 pm | Updated 11:45 pm IST - BERHAMPUR

Villagers of Tantaguda and Panaspunji collecting water in the first week of March.

Villagers of Tantaguda and Panaspunji collecting water in the first week of March.

Through their collective effort, tribal people of two remote, adjacent villages in Chitrakonda block in Odisha’s Malkangiri district have built a water supply project that has saved them from the rigours of water collection in the lockdown during this summer.

Motivated by the grassroot-level activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), around 100 tribal families of Tantaguda and Panaspunji under Gajalmamudi panchayat of Chitrakonda block decided to alleviate the water crisis on their own.

The tribal people did not wait for any financial support from the government in the project.

“We never knew it will be a saviour during the lockdown,” said Balaram Golari and Raghunath Hantal, the CPI(M) activists of the area. These two played a key role in uniting the local tribals for the project. Construction of the water supply project started on January 2 and got completed in first week of March.

Now, the tribal women of these two villages are saved from walking over two kms to collect water from a mountain stream. An amount of around ₹3 lakh was spent on the project. The money was contributed by around 100 tribal families of the two villages. Every family contributed as per its financial condition. But all of them provided free labour for its construction.

The project includes a top covered concrete tank at a hill top in which water of the perennial stream gets collected. An over 2 km-long pipeline transports water from this tank to the two villages. The project uses no pumps and gravity makes the water flow downstream. The localites designed the whole project without taking any technical support.

According to Mr. Golari, they are planning to extend the water supply to three more nearby villages through similar community effort.

Odisha secretary of CPI(M) Ali Kishor Patnaik lauded the party workers and tribals. “This project is an eye-opener for the administration that several remote villages in Malkangiri district are yet to get proper water supply.”

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