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PHOTOS: Heat, Dust And Water In Bundelkhand

05/05/2016 7:45 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Soumya Sarkar

The availability of water, or the lack of it, shapes lives in drought-stricken Bundelkhand.

Bundelkhand is a dirt-poor region where people are now desperately scratching the dirt for water. Only a few farmers have enough money to dig more than 50 metres and pump water out of the few aquifers that have not gone dry. A few others have built check dams and embankments to hold the rain where it falls, and their farms remain profitable. But such oases are too few and far between.

2016-05-05-1462454800-8824868-1.ThevillagewellinPaldevKaPurwavillageinBandadistrictofUttarPradeshdriedupthreeyearsagobringingcultivationtoavirtualhalt.jpg

The village well in Paldev Ka Purwa village in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh dried up three years ago, bringing cultivation to a virtual halt.

2016-05-05-1462455101-5594201-2.Aneighbouringwellinthevillagejustholdsafewinchesofwaterthatsnotfittodrink.jpg

A neighbouring well in the village just holds a few inches of water that's not fit to drink.

2016-05-05-1462455205-4778439-3.ThedryingupofwellsinPaldevKaPurwahasmeantunsowedbarrenfields.jpg

The drying up of wells in Paldev Ka Purwa has meant unsowed, barren fields.

2016-05-05-1462455271-2783849-4.ThepondnearGalhavillageinBandadistrictlostallitswatertwoyearsagoandevenwateringtheanimalshavesinceprovedtobeachallengetothelocalpeasantry.jpg

The pond near Galha village in Banda district lost all its water two years ago and even watering the animals have since proved to be a challenge to the local peasantry.

2016-05-05-1462455351-7993311-5.TheonlyfarmerinGalhavillageMunnaNathpicturedhasbeenabletocultivatehisfieldsonlybecausehehasaborewellandpump.jpg

The only farmer in Galha village, Munna Nath (pictured), has been able to cultivate his fields only because he has a bore well and pump.

2016-05-05-1462455402-8855724-6YearsofinadequaterainhasreducedtheBaghainriverinBundelkhandtoasadtrickleandtheliftcanalpicturedintheNarayaniblockofBandadistrictrunsmostlydry.jpg

Years of inadequate rain has reduced the Baghain river in Bundelkhand to a sad trickle, and the lift canal (pictured) in the Narayani block of Banda district runs mostly dry.

2016-05-05-1462456506-473948-7.TheponddugafewyearsagoinJignandavillageofHamirpurdistrictstillholdsplentyofwaterdespitescantyrainfall.jpg

The pond dug a few years ago in Jignanda village of Hamirpur district still holds plenty of water despite scanty rainfall.

2016-05-05-1462456571-5912228-8.ThewaterinthepondhasensuredthatownerGayaPrasadTiwarihasharvestedagoodcropdespitethedrought.jpg

The water in the pond has ensured that owner Gaya Prasad Tiwari has harvested a good crop despite the drought.

2016-05-05-1462456616-5391604-9.AmicrowatershedinterventionbybuildingtinycheckdamssuchasthisnearSalaiyaPamarvillageinDatiadistrictofMadhyaPradeshhaveyieldedpositiveresults.jpg

A micro watershed intervention by building tiny check dams such as this near Salaiya Pamar village in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh have yielded positive results.

2016-05-05-1462456663-6659434-10.AwellisbeingduginSalaiyaPamartotakeadvantageoftheraisedgroundwaterlevel.jpg

A well is being dug in Salaiya Pamar to take advantage of the raised groundwater level.

2016-05-05-1462456784-3347905-11.AnagriculturalfieldhasbeenembankedintheNonermouzaofDatiadistricttocatchtherainwhereitfalls.jpg

An agricultural field has been embanked in the Noner mouza of Datia district to catch the rain where it falls.

2016-05-05-1462456856-4753732-12.AnoldpondinHamirpurdistrictstillholdswaterdespitethedroughtbecauseitwasbuiltkeepingthecontoursofthelandinmind.jpg

An old pond in Hamirpur district still holds water despite the drought because it was built keeping the contours of the land in mind.

Read part 1 of this series here, and part 2 here.

Tomorrow: Linking Rivers Will Not Save Bundelkhand

This photo feature was first published on www.indiaclimatedialogue.net

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