Water

Time is running out!

By Jon Hargreaves

HCR does not drill wells! We support communities in crisis, through media. We work with partners who do this kind of thing. It’s not in our strategic plan. So we don’t drill wells…. usually that is!

But then sometimes, when the need is great, one has no choice. Which is why we’ve done it before !

And we need to do it again as time is running out for one marginalised Adivasi (indigenous tribal) community in Maharastra, India.

We have reached out to those who do drill wells as their core business, but they are unable to help. So we're going to drill a well!

Our grateful thanks to those who have enabled us to make this a reality.

For more information contact: hcruk@h-c-r.org



"Only 28 days until the water runs out!"

By Alice Stout

The river bed is drying out.

The river bed is drying out.

Says Patil Ramdas Warde, the leader of a village in Maharashtra. Such is the plight of many tribal communities across the county. The lack of rain has led to major crop failure. Eighty per cent of the rice plantations have failed to yield a harvest. As the Patil – meaning ‘village head’ – shared his worries with us, the need of the Adivasi Village Project became increasingly apparent.

The dichotomy of India

India is the fastest growing economy in the world, yet when we went to pay for our hotel stay in Nashik, reception could not accept an international credit card. We experienced similar problems trying to withdraw cash from ATMs. As I upload this blog using 4G from my mobile hotspot, villages 10 kilometres from here do not have a sustainable water supply. It is such a bizarre phenomenon to be surrounded by all the technology of the modern age yet know basic needs for daily living are lacking around us. But there is an incredible opportunity here for positive social change using media.

HCR is working with Seva Social Welfare Foundation to bring health, education, and social development through the “speaker boxes” project.The speaker-MP3 players, provided to every family in the village, are filled with informative and entertaining programmes to help alleviate the problems that come from dirty water, non-nutritional food, and lack of sanitation healthcare.

“Speaker boxes” making an astonishing impact

It is six months since the "speaker boxes" were first distributed, and already the impact is astonishing.

 “People are changing their habits. There is good hygiene now, people are boiling water, and there are fewer stomach problems than before," says the Patil. He told us that the tribe learned how to construct a dam through the Adivasi Village Project.

“Without your programmes, we would have already run out of water.”

Patil Ramdas also told us that when the monsoon does arrive in June, and the reservoir begins to fill, the first rain collected in the dam makes people very sick. HCR and Seva are now supplying chlorine tablets to prevent cholera and other common diseases after the first rainfall.

But now the urgent need is to find a specialist on-the-ground group to come and aid the village – drilling a well would mean they never run out of water again.

Patil Ramdas is concerned for his community.

Patil Ramdas is concerned for his community.

“Better than Nestle's!” - Clean water brings health to Pakistan community

By Jon Hargreaves

“You have lost me my business,” health clinic owner,  Zahid jokingly tells HCR Pakistan director Hazeen Latif.   He was speaking at the opening of the new drinking well in his village, provided by HCR, funded by an Australian church.  “Since this well opened three weeks ago,” Zahid says, “I am selling less Flagyl because fewer people are having stomach problems.”  With a smile on his face he says, “this water is even better than Nestlé's.”  The well project was a result of a consultation facilitated by HCR which identified some of the main needs facing the community. 

Schoolboy tries the clean drinking water from the new well in his village, KPK province, Pakistan

Schoolboy tries the clean drinking water from the new well in his village, KPK province, Pakistan

HCR has been working in this village in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province since 2013, helping the community understand and tackle their health and social development challenges.  “It has been such a privilege to walk alongside this community for the last three years and feel like I’m part of them,” says Hazeen.  “During that time we’ve seen some great things happen, like the medical camp that HCR sponsored with a local partner. We also sponsored a community cricket match and have done a micro-enterprise project, "he added,"but perhaps the most difficult time was when a nearby school was attacked by terrorists and I experienced the grief the community was going through."

HCR has been working in Pakistan in development and disaster response since 2013, with a vision of seeing whole of life transformation in some of the most challenging places in the country.

Well-digging in KPK, Pakistan is very manual (Video)

Well-digging in KPK, Pakistan is very manual (Video)

A water resource management student gets involved in...radio!

MSc Student, Joseph Thompson has just completed writing up his research which he conducted at HCR's partner project, Tana FM in Eastern Kenya during June and July.  A student of water resource management at Wageningen (Holland) and Copenhagen (Denmark) Universities, Joe’s research addressed the conflict over resources in the region and particularly how the radio station, Tana FM, is playing a role in building peace by promoting dialogue, sharing knowledge and engaging all sides in the conflict.  

During his time in Tana River, Joe worked closely with producers to make radio programmes to tackle some of the key themes that emerged during the research process which helped different tribes to better understand each other.  In one programme on tribalism for example, participants in the programme took turns in teaching a proverb in their mother tongue to a person from another tribe, explaining the meaning of the proverb.  Needless to say this resulted in a lot of laughter and a kind of “humanising” of the other side.  Involving the wider community in the programmes promotes dialogue and understanding, a key HCR principle.

Joseph with Tana FM producers Zeinab Hussein and Galana Galole

Joseph with Tana FM producers Zeinab Hussein and Galana Galole