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The day we saved our Talab

by isabel last modified 2011-05-25 17:22

A collective efforts of Laporiya community has achieved a goal in terms of rebuilt life saving tank that has almost broken in Heavy rain on 22nd August, 2010.

Laporia Main Talab

The trouble started at 5:30am on the 21st of  August.  Small holes were found in the dyke surrounding Laporiyas’ main Talab (Reservoir).  If this got worse it could mean losing all of the water that had been stored from the monsoon which would be a disaster for the communities that depended on it for animals, crops and drinking water.  It would mean dry fields and empty wells, in a land that is already parched.

By mid august the Talab had become half full with rainwater, the monsoon had been plentiful for the first time since 1997, the years of constant drought had come to an end.  There was good reason to be happy in Laporiya.  On the 20th however, the rains came again and continued to fall heavily.  A routine check on the dyke by GVNML staff had found the holes and the alarm was raised.  Happiness changed to worry.

Villagers came to investigate, some tried to plug the holes but to no avail, the water kept flowing out.  The abundant rain was proving too much for the old Talab to handle.  Then at 10:30 more bad news came, holes were found at a second location on the dyke, the situation would get worse before it got better it seemed.  By this time the whole village had come out in force to see what could be done.   The holes at the first site had gotten bigger and the water was increasing in speed.  Two thousand poly bags filled with earth were used to stem the flow but it only slowed partially and the water kept flowing.  Then in the afternoon the second site started to get worse.

At 3pm the source of the water at the second site had been found but anything used to block the hole simply flowed out and was found washed away in the neighboring fields.  A JCB was brought in but no matter where earth was piled or moved the water found a way out.  A network of holes, dug by rodents, had weakened the structure and the increased pressure from extra water seemed like it was going to destroy the dyke.  The women of the village added their support.  Prayers were said.  Cups of hot chai went round to increase stamina but at this stage only thirty or so villagers were working, the rest sat demoralized looking on and the water gushed out of the Talab faster and faster.

People of Laporiya Saving Talab

Then reinforcements came from the village, fresh people that added a positive atmosphere.The JCB was used to collapse the dyke in on top of itself. Fifty people and the machine worked all through the night piling bags and shoveling earth.  Government officials and people from the flood relief centre arrived but proved to be of little help.  The villagers worked on through the night to save their Talab.  By morning the dyke had been fixed.

Government officials refused to pay any financial assistance despite promising otherwise.  At a village meeting Rs17,000 was collected from those that were dependant on the Talab and the JCB was paid for.  Strengthening work continued for weeks afterwards and the water in the Talab irrigated crops, filled the wells and quenched the thirst of the animals of Laporiya for the rest of the year.  Oftentimes if you want something done you must do it yourself and the people of Laporiya know this all too well.

 

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GVNML, Laporiya, Dudu, Jaipur, Rajasthan 303008 Tel: 01428 218142 Email: gvnml@gvnml.org