Reviving Kerala's rural water bodies

The community-based conservation model focuses on involving the general public in environment conservation.

Published: 26th November 2018 09:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2018 09:17 AM   |  A+A-

The cleaning of the Thettiyar river in progress

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Extreme weather conditions are the norm today. Amidst such adverse situations, potable water shortage has become a major issue. However, how often do we make efforts to clean the water bodies which are covered in filth and plastic, ask experts?

In order to revive the freshwater habitats, Environmentalist Foundation of India has been regularly involved in community-based conservation efforts including cleaning up neighbourhood ponds, community lakes and rivers. For the first time, they are conducting a clean-up drive at Karimadom pond on Sunday.

The community-based conservation model focuses on involving the general public in environment conservation. “ This is the first time that we are conducting a pond restoration project in Thiruvananthapuram. For this, we are expecting at least 100 volunteers from colleges, government and semi-government organisations. We want the local community to also be involved in the project,” said Dhruv Chakraverti, Conservation Coordinator for EFI, Kerala. Several small ponds which once were water recharge structures are turning dump yards of sorts. This leads to depletion and contamination of groundwater sources. Poor water management has also led to water scarcity and seasonal flooding. To ensure enhanced water management, EFI has availed permission from respective district administrations in the various states to voluntarily clean and restore small water bodies.

EFI has voluntarily taken up the responsibility of restoring the lakes. So far, they have revamped nearly 60 ponds across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat and Kolkata. “ Post-floods, the district administration reached out to us regarding the water shortage in the city. We wanted to do more,  which is why we took up the restoration of the Karimadom pond. We are receiving a list of ponds that need to be revived, Dhruv said".

Issues plaguing Karimadom pond    

The garbage at Karimadom pond has become a breeding ground for leeches. We want to create awareness among the public,” Dhruv said. They have also planned other programmes such as plantation activities, wall painting and water conservation activities. They will soon launch a revamp of the Thettiyar river.

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