Overcoming water shortage during the times of COVID as a Restorative Strategy

The entire world had come to a standstill due to the Covid 19 epidemic, triggering a halt on employment, travels as well as led to subsequent shutdown of shops. Inter-state and Intra-state travel restrictions and unemployment has given birth to a section of vulnerable communities in rural areas, who are unemployed and seeking a sort of mobility that would incite resources for survival. The major ramification of this clampdown has been the rise in unemployment, this, in addition to the existing age old problems of water scarcity and extreme climatic conditions has resulted into a situation of frustration and despair. The survival of the rural community in Thar Desert has come under threat.

To curb these lockdown blues, Urmul Trust in collaboration with HDFC Bank has initiated interventions under the Marugandha project to support the migrant and rural labourers.The field team is continuously working towards providing local livelihood opportunities for the economically marginalised migrant labourers and has identified 264 labourers across 5 programme villages that are in dire need of support. The team, with aid from other labourers, have formulated a committee for each pond to execute the tasks better and to ensure adequate income opportunities for the absolute vulnerable. Currently, under the natural resource management vertical, excavation and inundation work has been initiated providing employment opportunities to 298 individuals in the five intervention villages – Badli Nathusar Chacha , Kelawa Odhaniya , and Suganpura .

In addition to employment, through these interventions Urmul Team is also circumventing the age old problem of water. Pre-excavation work has been carried out to revive five rivers, which increased the capacity of water storage facilities to 798533 Litres of water for the use of residents of the five villages.

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