Jakhni (Bundelkhand)

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Man-made oasis/ 2019

Neha Lalchandani, June 24, 2019: The Times of India

As large swathes of Bundelkhand continue to reel under acute water crisis year after year, people of some villages of the parched region chose to swim against the tide and took measures for water conservation and recharging groundwater, aiming to become largely selfreliant in water supply.

About 10 years ago, the severe water scarcity made the residents of Jakhni village make efforts to revive ponds in the area. This year, while several other villages are lying parched, five ponds in Jakhni village are full and residents are getting easy supply of water through tubewells. With temperatures soaring to 48 degree Celsius in the interiors of Bundelkhand, Jakhni remains relatively cool.

“Initially, villages started digging under MNREGA. Subsequently, the gram sabha also helped and we managed to revive five ponds by desilting them and removing encroachments,” said Keshav Pandey, a resident.

In neighbouring Mahoba, the gram pradhan of Bara village got a pipeline laid from the only functional tubewell beyond the dwellings and ensured multiple filling points to ensure that villagers do not spend hours in trekking to the tubewell outside the village. The village had no internal water supply and was dependent on government tankers. The village also took up tree plantation aggressively along with revival of ponds to ensure that groundwater level rises.

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