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Tukutoli village first gets tap water and now grows vegetables using greywater

Story

By Alok Ranjan

01 October 2019

Families in Tukutoli village in Gumla, Jharkhand, once suffered from diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera. Open defecation was prevalent, there were few sources of safe water and an acute water shortage in summer. Today, every household in the village has a toilet and a bathing room (TBR), and piped water supply.

Jhariyo Oraon, with the papaya trees in her backyard garden. The garden is irrigated using waste water from the taps.

Photograph by Alok Ranjan

Tukutoli is a small village inhabited by the Oraon community, in Raidih block of Gumla in Jharkhand. The villagers used to suffer from diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera. Open defecation was prevalent and there were few sources of safe water. There was an acute shortage of water in summer.

Today, every household in the village has a toilet and a bathing room (TBR), and piped water supply. “It was like a dream to get piped water supply in our house, which even families in cities do not get”, said a villager.

The PoWER project implemented by Gram Vikas with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through PRADAN helped the village realise this dream. The Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC), formed as part of the project, got the responsibility for maintenance and governance of the piped water supply system and ensuring the proper usage of the sanitation infrastructure by all households. The committee collects monthly water charges from all households for the maintenance.

Everyone in the village expected Gram Vikas to leave after the completion of the TBRs and the commissioning of the piped water. But to their surprise, the staff of Gram Vikas started mobilising the villagers for improvements in the nutritional status of families and management of greywater from the bathrooms and the third tap in the kitchens.  

Smt. Jhariyo Oraon, a 40-year old woman, happily showed her nutrition garden to the staff of Gram Vikas. She has prepared channels to direct the greywater from the bathing room and the kitchen tap into the small nutrition garden. The small patch of land is filled with plants like papaya, brinjal, green chilli, local green leaves and even a mango tree! She says, “hum is pani ke liye paise de rahe hain.  Woh pani aise hi beh raha tha. Ab hum apne pani ka upyog sabzi ugane ke liye karte hai” (We paid for the water which was flowing away – wasted. We now use the greywater to grow vegetables)”. Investing just a rupee per day (₹ 30 is the monthly per-household water charge), she reaps larger benefits.

Rita Nayak with her child Khushi near the toilet bathing room unit in their house in Chanchadapalli village, Ganjam district.

Photograph by Ajaya Behera

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Sangita Patra supported with the content framework for story collection and story finalisation. She is a member of the Monitoring, Documentation, Communication group at Gram Vikas.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alok Ranjan is a Young Management Trainee at Gram Vikas.

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