NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs along is planning to launch ‘1000 springs initiative’ in the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in order to restore dried up streams to make safe and adequate water accessible to the tribal population.
In the first phase, the mapping would be carried out of the springs that have dried up.
The joint initiative with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to provide a localized solution to meet the water supply needs in remote areas where piped water supply remains a challenge.
Earlier launched in Odisha on a pilot-phase basis, the programme would now be upscaled to other states, a senior Ministry of Tribal Affairs official said.
A community-led initiative, tribal youths would be trained in both traditional and scientific knowledge in order to identify and map springs.
Once the mapping is complete, they would undertake ‘rejuvenation and protection measures’ for the dried springs.
As a part of the capacity building programme, the modules would be available in the local languages for the community.
In addition to providing access to clean and safe drinking water, the other objectives are giving access to adequate water of acceptable quality within the household premises for domestic use, access to adequate water of acceptable quality to eliminate open defecation, improved food, and nutrition intake through the kitchen garden and improved standard of living by supplying electricity through off-grid pico hydro water plant.
Currently, 400 springs have been mapped out across Odisha covering its physical, chemical, and biological properties.
The 2011 Census data documents accessing safe drinking water continues to be a major challenge among scheduled tribe population.
Compared to the national average of 46.6 per cent, less than 20 per cent of the ST households have water available in their premises. The situation among the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) is worse.