Magazine article New Internationalist

Creating an Oasis

Magazine article New Internationalist

Creating an Oasis

Article excerpt

Pulkoti is an oasis in the semi-desert of western Maharashtra. The area receives just 175 millimetres of rain annually, but it hasn't needed a single tanker delivery since 2014. With the help of a determined women's organization, the Mann Deshi Foundation, villagers found a seemingly simple solution to their water problems.

In 2012, the foundation established a cattle camp to provide fodder and water to 14,000 livestock. After 18 months of drought, the villagers recognized the situation was untenable and approached foundation founder and chair Chetna Gala Sinha. 'We decided we should work on water, even though we're not experts. T-SSSa We took on the project, which the government was not willing to do.' With advice from engineers and partner organizations, work began to rehabilitate streams and the Man river, before turning to reservoir construction, which continues today. Reservoir ownership and management was handed to the panchayat (village council), with a memorandum of understanding on distribution. …

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