Battle for survival: This village in Assam collect water dripping from hills to quench their thirst


GUWAHATI | April 15, 2019:

People at Semkhor village in Assam are facing acute water crisis even after 70 years of independence. To meet their needs, the residents of this village collect water that drips from the mountains in pits.

The government has kept changing over the years, but no one has helped the village in ending the water crisis, the villagers said.

"We drink water which comes out of mountains. We do not have arrangements like tube well or anything by the government. People residing in the area are drinking water like this," said Sopesh Pathari, a resident of Semkhor village.

Their ordeal doesn't end here; the locals have to travel over a kilometre to fetch water every day. "We have a big water problem. We have requested the government department but they did not do anything. We travel one kilometre to get clean water," said Khurabi, another resident of the village.

They said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constructed toilets but not provided water in them.

"It is very difficult to search for water. We do not even get water to take bath," a woman said.

According to the 2011 census, availability of drinking water in Assam homes is 55 per cent, near the premises is 27 per cent, and away from the household premises is 19 per cent.

The 2011 census defines the concept of "within the premises" as the area of the household, and "near the premises" in an urban area as 100 metres from the premises and 500 metres from the premises in a rural area. "Away" in an urban area is defined as beyond 100 metres from the household premises and in a rural area it is beyond 500 metres.