Senu village, Sujanpur block, Himachal Pradesh
Thati Senu, a village in Sujanpur block, Himachal Pradesh,
is optimally harnessing rainwater in khatris (a traditional water
harvesting system) and in ferrocement tanks to meet their daily requirements.
In the process, they have set an example for others to follow. Says
Anuradha Thakur, deputy commissioner of Hamirpur, "We are hoping
that the success of rooftop rainwater harvesting at Thati Senu village
would encourage other villages to take up such initiatives."
Till recently, the villagers have been primarily dependent on khatris,
as the state's piped water supply was released weekly and sometimes
just once in a month. Moreover, with the increase in the number
of families from two to 27, in last fifty years, the demand for
water has been on the rise. The villagers tried to solve the problem
by constructing some new khatris. The problem was abated to a certain
extent. But more was needed.
The days of misery ended when a survey report suggested the diversion
of roof water to the ferrocement tanks as an option to meet the
demand. Following the suggestion, in 14 houses these tanks were
constructed with government funds. "The villagers contributed
ten per cent of the total cost in the form of shramdaan (voluntary
While explaining the feasibility of this technology, Satish Sharma,
project officer in district rural development authority, said "Most
of the area around the village comprises of hard bouldary strata.
As a result most of the rain flowed out without being utilised.
Thus, it made complete sense to catch rainwater and use it for domestic
purposes. The Ferro cement tanks were opted for as these are relatively
cheap and have maximum life in relative terms."
Adds RK Rana, junior engineer of Sujanpur block, "The capacity
of a Ferro cement tank (5,000 liters) was decided on the basis of
the daily requirements of one family and the rainfall pattern of
the region. This amount is sufficient for a family for about a month."Premchand,
secretary of gram sabha, said "We have enough rain during the
monsoon. Catching rain has solved our problems that used to emerge
with the onset of summer."