Written By: Vipul Dixit, Officer Partnership Management, New Delhi
Edited By : Communications Team

 

In times of DroughtBihar: Visit to the Bihar based livelihood partners, requires one to travel or rather transect the region from north to south crossing the river Ganga to reach places such as Bettiah (W. Champaran), Sakri (in Madhubani) to Rajgir (in Nalanda) and Barachatti (in Gaya). Not only the dialects but the also the topography reflects a sharp departure, from comparatively greener Mithilanchal in North Bihar to the visibly rocky and parched Southern Bihar plains.  But there are a few things, besides being on the either sides of the river Ganga, which unites the fate of the two geographically diverse regions. These are the plunging water table and the hopes for good monsoon.

 

“Is baar Sardi me bhi nhi barsa! Sab Ahar-pokhra me pani sookh gya hai… Is Chait Chhath me arghya dene k liye bhi pani nahi tha”

 

(Last winter, it did not rain that much. The Ahar (river based reservoir) and pond’s water is all drying up… We do not have water even to give ceremonious offering of water on the last Chait Chhat (a local festival). -shared one resident of Neyar village, in Rajgir.

 

“Sir ji bariyari me kheti kar rhe hai… agar kuve ka paanui bhi sookh gya to kheti nahi kar paenge”

 

(It roughly meant “Sir, we are fighting against odd, banking on a good monsoon for harvest… If the water in the wells dries up, we won’t be able to continue agriculture as a means for survival”), says another resident of Rohi Village of Barachatti of Gaya District.

 

The water level has gone down to the level of roughly 200 feet below the ground. Almost half of the government allotted hand pumps are dysfunctional now, as reported by our project partners.

 

Northern Bihar is placed in a relatively better situation, but not enough to let the community of Sadai- Mushars to start fish culture in the community pond in Sakri, Madhubani. They must wait for the next rain so that they do not have to stretch their finances on watering the ponds for an early harvest.

 

The individual excerpts are a reflection of the grimier situation the country is facing in the wake of one of the worst drought in decades and this calls for immediate response. IGSSS as part of its sustainable livelihood programme is working towards providing relief to the affected communities. A step in this direction has already been initiated; IGSSS has activated its Emergency Response Team. The team is gathering relevant information from the field to plan its next course of action in the worst affected districts.

 

Contribute to IGSSS Drought Relief Fund. IGSSS will use your contribution to provide relief to people affected by the disaster.