Capping water wastage to bring in hope for the future
Until recently, 42-year-old Naresh, who is a farmer in Haryana’s Mukimpur village, did not realise the pitfall of the way he has been irrigating his field for years now. “Everyone here would practice open irrigation,” he said. Open irrigation is when farmers allow standing water in their fields to irrigate their crops. This, Naresh realized after being made aware by WaterAid India and AB InBev, was not the ideal means of irrigating his field because it leads to massive amounts of water wastage that, in turn, affects them in the long-term.
“I did not realize that there could be an alternate way to irrigate our crops which could save water without affecting our yield,” Naresh said. The only earning members in a family of four, unlearning something that has been in practice for years now was challenging, but not impossible.
So when WaterAid India, with the support of AB InBev, held meetings with farmers of Mukimpur to make them understand the disadvantages of the open irrigation system, there was initial hesitation. However, with continued efforts, they realized that the alternate proposal—of a sprinkler system—would not just serve the purpose of amply irrigating their fields but also save water for their own collective future, they agreed.
“My farm was selected for the sprinkler installation,” Naresh said. As time went on, he said that he could see that the sprinkler was irrigating his crops sufficiently. “And there was at least 20-30 percent water being saved,” he added, “If water is saved it is good for us, for our future. So it is a good intervention.”
After some thought he added, “My family’s economic condition is not very good; I have hardly been able to save anything in the past few years. But now, with the support of the organisations, I am expecting to see a better tomorrow.”