Bjelkeman's travel notes

Travels with the cloud in my pocket.

No water, now what?

Women who work with textiles at the Mahalar Aran Trust.

Today we went to visit Mahalar Aran Trust at Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu, India. The trust offers counselling, housing, job training and support for women in need (abused, divorced, abandoned, widowed). They have about 100 women housed there at the moment including some very young.

One of the three wells on the lands of the Mahalar Aran Trust. This is a deep open well, traditional south Indian style, with hardly any water. During the monsoon the well can be full up, but this soon infiltrates into the ground and back down to the base level of the groundwater.

They grow much of their own food in the fields, have a textile production facility and a small poultry farm. One of the major challenges is that they have a real shortage of water were they are. The wells are often very low on water and growing food is not possible during large parts of the year, due to water shortages.

We got to see the biogas production, from cow dung, which allows for free cooking gas for 100 people. They have started installing rainwater harvesting, but currently recharge the groundwater with this through the open wells. They don’t actually store it in a drinkable form. They are looking for advice on eco-sanitation, urine separation and rainwater harvesting, which we will discuss with Biome here in Bangaluru tomorrow.

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Filed under: Development aid, India, Water management

About Bjelkeman

thomas@bjelkeman.com

Co-director: Akvo Foundation

+46-8-626 7609

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