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November 18, 2022

Ponds Transform a Desert

“When you visit a village in Rajasthan, you are bound to find a pond close by. One of the most ancient and traditional structures for rainwater harvesting, there are about 83,000 ponds in Rajasthan.


But many of these water bodies have fallen into disrepair – due to improper maintenance. Across communities, ponds seep water, have become polluted and are full of silt – reducing the quality and volume of water available.


In 2003-04, ACF decided to revive 4 ponds in Rabriyawas but knew in order to make the project sustainable, we must involve the local community – to ensure they manage each pond for future generations.


We got to work in the communities of Balada and Lakholav – ACF committed to the supply of machinery for de-silting of ponds, whilst the huge manpower and transportation required for the removal of silt, was provided by the community.


The soil was high in nutrients and provided a great resource to add top soil to farmer fields.. So hand in hand, we got to work. ACF deployed machinery for pond excavation, shaping and de-silting, whilst women and men rolled up their sleeves – bringing in tractors from fields to shift the huge quantum of soil to nearby fields.


Together we revived the ponds, resulting in an additional 10,880 m3 water storage capacity in Balada, and 3626 m3 additional water storage capacity in Lakholav. And the ripple effect in the community was unbelievable.

 

Farmers were able to bring 120 acres more land under cultivation, wells in the surrounding area were recharged, and soil fertility improved. There was a 57% decrease in water tanker usage. Expenditure on water reduced by 67% in Lakholav and 14% in Balada, and expenditure on health reduced by 22% in Balada and 47% in Lakholav.”


November 18, 2022

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