Water crisis in Rakhog is very common especially during the summer days.To those who don't know what Rakhog is, it is a small village in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Why so? Because people in Rakhog are unbelievably ignorant! Discharging of sewage and effluents & dumping of non biodegradable wastes in the ponds are contaminating the water. Amoebiasis, Giardia… all water pollutant micro-organisms are common here. That is why, we have to suffer the consequences as well!
To be honest, it was difficult. Since the past years, the coliform level in water was increasing, hence there were more chances of contracting a water disease - the only reason which made the hospital a landfill of infected patients. Nature was half destroyed due to the building of a huge factory. Rivers became the ultimate destination for discharging the radioactive effluents. 90% of the river was polluted and the remaining pure was exploited for meeting the needs of the so called riches.
71% of earth is covered by oceans, lakes, and rivers, but still more than 30% of people in our village are lacking clean water.
Likewise every day, I was lost in my thoughts. The water crisis was not an unlikely thing but the problem was actually that there was barely water left for us. Boiled water was the safest option to drink, steamed vegetables was our only food, showering for only 1 day in a week...this was our condition. Back to home, I was thinking about a permanent solution to safeguard drinking water for all. We would be dead if this continued.
After 1 month, the situation was infact worse. 198 people had died. The reasons included lack of proper sanitation, water diseases & inadequate drinking water. I had came up with certain solutions, but it would be impossible without someone's help. I headed to the village office to talk regarding this. If they agreed, there was a probability that we would never face it again. After a thorough check of my project, they agreed with me.
Water butts were installed, which would catch rainwater. This saved 5000 liters of water a year. The water use was also cut by 33% by watering plants manually. Small practices like timed gardening, funding water grabbers etc. were done.
Washing, cleaning or polluting the natural sources of water was prohibited. Two major steps were taken to ensure that water is not contaminated. No factories could release their radioactive wastes in the water and hydraulic fracturing of water was banned, as it posed multiple threats to water supplies.
Now, water use was measured and targets were set to reduce water usage. Sustainable management was introduced for the betterment of future generation. Water was recycled and trees were planted so that the water cycle was replenished. The result was fruitful enough after few years. We never faced any water crisis thereafter. Seeing these conditions, I was now sure that water was ensured for everyone and no one was left behind.
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Rakhog, Himachal Pradesh, India; Water for All; Leaving No One BehindShort Story
This is my 500 word story on World Water Day 2019 themed 'Water for All, Leaving No One behind' as an entry for the 5th Writing Project (2nd Writing Project on Water Day) organized and coordinated by Chinthaka Nanayakkara - who was a former Brand Am...