On the field, our team has been hard at work gathering community data and preparing for construction. Our funds can provide more than 30 tanks under a simple subsidy model, but we must first find willing families with demonstrated need, financial ability, and available land. This has been the bulk of our pre-construction process: we have met with local villagers, government officials, and contractors in order to align all interests. It has not been without obstacles. Some common issues are as follows:
- Loss of interest in rainwater harvesting due to new government pipeline promises
- Inability to contribute the remaining amount after subsidy as a single portion
- Lack of available land for construction/ roof space for collection
For these reasons, the village of Edayazham is no longer a suitable location for our program. The residents do not feel that the R4H program is a good fit for their current water situation. Therefore, our team and our implementation partners agreed to move into a new area with more immediate need and interest in rainwater harvesting. The Panchayats of Kurichi, Thakazhi and Vechoor have been approached and surveyed, showing a more willing community for this program. Villagers in these areas express more urgent water scarcity, with some drinking pond water. They also are able to pay the remainder post-subsidy. The next step will be to complete demographic surveying of each family before beginning construction.
Looking ahead, we aim to build a first round of 6-10 tanks in the new communities. We expect that demand will rise from surrounding families. In such instance, the program will proceed to use the remaining funds on a first come, first serve basis to build individual family tanks in these areas. Once construction is completed, our leadership will compile the accumulated survey, technical, and observed data into a final report. This will conclude the R4H program. In winding down, we hope our reflections about will reach all of our donors, advisors, and supporters. We will also offer our knowledge to the public in the hope that it informs future water projects in this area and beyond.
Thank you for sticking with us through this long and fruitful project. We hope you have learned as much as we have, and that you continue to support projects that take on the challenge of water scarcity in new and creative ways. Change is incremental, and we believe that we have taken one step in the right direction for those to come into this field in the future.