Reliance Foundation undertakes revival of Sona River in parched MarathwadaMay 23, 2016
The Marathwada region of Maharashtra is parched. Repeated failures of monsoons over the years, over exploitation of ground water, and the resultant depletion of water tables, have crippled the region’s economy.
For the past four years, Reliance Foundation (RF), through its flagship Rural Transformation programme, has been working to provide long-term solution to Marathwada’s water woes.
As a major step, RF has undertaken the rejuvenation of Sona River at Soygaon in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. This project will benefit 14,000 people and irrigate 2,500 acres of land in five villages –Amkheda, Galwada, Wetalwadi, Soygaon and Sonadwad. It will also recharge more than 100 wells in the region to ensure that there is no shortage of drinking water.
Soygaon, one of the remotest blocks of Aurangabad district, has been crippled by water scarcity. Most of the wells/bore-wells in the area have dried up. Forget water for irrigation, the local panchayat doesn’t even have resources to supply drinking water to the people of Soygaon.
The Foundation has deployed a team to carry out de-siltation and cleaning of a kilometre-long stretch of the Sona River. Working on a war footing, the team aims to renovate two defunct dams, and build two new check dams on the earmarked stretch of the river before the arrival of monsoon. To ensure sustainability, the team will spread water harvesting awareness among the locals.
Mission Rahat: Marathwada
As an immediate relief for the parched region, RF, in collaboration with government agencies, has identified 100 most distressed villages in the four Marathwada districts of Latur, Hingoli, Jalna and Nanded, and has developed a system to deliver drinking water to over 50,000 families living in these villages. Each village is supplied 3-4 tankers of water per day – an efficient system, put in place by RF, ensuring equitable and safe distribution of water. Nearly 100 water tankers are deployed daily to supply water to the villages.
“We were struggling to get water as there is no source near our village,” says Sanjana Pawar of Sevanagar Tanda in Latur district. “All our work came to a standstill as we spent whole days hunting for water. Our daughters too joined us, and affected their studies. Thanks to Reliance Foundation, we are now getting drinking water at home.”
Mahajan Anandrao Shinde of Harbal village in Nanded district says, “This RF initiative to provide drinking water has been very helpful. Before RF deployed the water tankers, there was very little water available. Reliance Foundation has been our saviour by providing drinking water to us.”
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