-Manashree Newa

Celebrating World Environment Day by Sharing Knowledge on RWH On the occasion of the World Environment Day 2018, GUTHI organized a one-day Rainwater Harvesting training to the women of Bansighat slum area. The main objective of the program was to aware women about the efficient ways of rainwater harvesting. Altogether 41 women participated in the program.

 The facilitator from the GUTHI interacted with the participants and shared technical details on rainwater harvesting. The participants were excited and interactive throughout the program. They were fascinated to learn about rainwater harvesting, first flush system, ground water system, ground water recharge and its connection to polluted river. “We didn't usually leave the rainwater for 15 min, but only for a few minutes. Now, since I have learnt the importance of first flush; I will be careful about it."

said Rachana Thapa. This was a follow up event after the completion of the RAIN Community project supported by IRHA. A quick survey conducted during the program, we found out that only 4 participants had gutter in their house, whereas 21 participants have been collecting rainwater through local means. 15 participants did not harvest rainwater at all. Nevertheless, since water scarcity is a major problem in the area, everyone was interested to start efficient rainwater harvesting system at his or her home.
Currently, the people have been using jerry cans, jar, and buckets to collect rainwater. The water is used for domestic purposes like washing, bathing, cleaning, etc. They don't have gutters nor follow the proper first flush methods. "We run to this community center to collect rainwater whenever it starts raining". shared Manju Gahatraj. The catchment of Bansighat Community Center has also eased the water demand of many residents there."We cannot afford big tanks, so we are able to collect only limited water, and due to the excess runoff, our houses get submerged", said Sumitra Thapa.
Thus, this program gave GUTHI a good platform to understand the ground realities about water situation at Bansighat. The program ended with the formation of three groups, which will be mobilized in water related awareness, monitoring, surveillance in Bansighat. Overall, World Environment Day 5 June 2018 provided a good occasion to discuss about water with the communities.

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