Drip Irrigation Proves As Blessing For Dwellers Of Water Stressed Villagers In Tank, D.I.Khan

Drip irrigation proves as blessing for dwellers of water stressed villagers in Tank, D.I.Khan

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Jun, 2022 ) :Saif ur Rehman, a dweller of village Kot Daulat of Tehsil Kolachi in D.I.Khan district, had a vast land besides a spacious house of around seven kanal (38115 square feet), but due to sever water scarcity in the area he is unable to utilize this useful resource as a source livelihood and for fulfilling his domestic food requirements.

Kot Dualat is among 81 villages of Kolachi Tehsil of D.I.Khan district where residents are faced with the problems of acute water shortage and have to fetch drinking water by walking on foot for hours.

Females of the area also share the burden by managing household needs within limited water stock arranged by them and other members of the family.

A tube well installed for around 300 houses of the village mostly remain off for about 19 to 20 hours a day due to low electricity voltage and hours long power outages, adding misery to the already distressed people.

Disappointed over inability to utilize land for farming, Saifur Rehman opted for other source of opening a small shop in village to eke out living within meagre resources.

However, training on drip irrigation programme by International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a research for development organization, brought very positive turnaround in life of Saif ur Rehman by enabling his family to develop kitchen garden within his home premises.

Saira Bibi, wife of Saif ur Rehman, has reserved a portion of her home for kitchen gardening and grows different vegetables after obtaining basic training from female trainers of IWMI.

"IWMI helped us in installing of a solar operated water pump besides providing a plastic tank for water accumulation and is distributed through drips for irrigation of the garden," Saira told APP.

The technology has changed mindset of people of the area who believed in large water supply for flooding of the filed for irrigation purpose and now wanted to install same equipment for cultivation of essential vegetables, she informed.

"Due to remoteness of village from city area which is around 20 to 25 kilometers away, grocery price is much high in the area, out of the reach of most of the people who mostly are from low income group," says Saeed ur Rehman, another villager.

We received river water through canals once in a year from Gomal Zam Dam for irrigation of wheat crop and rest of the crops are irrigated through rains which is also becoming low in the region due to climatic changes, compelling people to keep their farming land idle, Saeed apprised APP.

He said vegetable grown through use of drip irrigation is enough for his family and even they distribute as gifts additional yield among our neighbors and relatives.

Observing positive results of drip irrigation farming at home of Saeed and other beneficiaries of the project, a number of villagers are now approaching with request for installation of the technology at their homes.

"Drip irrigation training has been imparted in several districts of D.

I.Khan and Tank under our initiative `Water Management for Enhanced Productivity, informs Amjad Jamal, Communication Specialists IWMI.

Talking to APP, Amjad said the objective of the initiative was to help the people of water stressed areas by apprising them about the use and benefit of drip irrigation.

IWMI focused on female folk of the areas to train them for developing kitchen garden inside their homes and grow vegetable of their choice and need for domestic consumption, Amjad informed.

The results are very encouraging and trained ladies are now shifting idea to their peers for benefiting from drip irrigation technology for overcoming the issue of no farming due to water scarcity, Amjad shared.

"One unit of drip irrigation technology costs around Rs. 60,000 and IWMI is providing the facility to people free of cost along with training and follow ups," says Kashif of IWMI.

The solar plate is arranged by the beneficiary which mostly they have installed in their house due to electricity outages, he added.

Talking from D.I.Khan, Kashif said initially 10 units have been installed as pilot project and now work on installation of 20 more is in progress on basis of demand of people.

People from remote areas like Sheikh Sultan village in Tank where dwellers are faced with severe water shortage are contacting IWMI for provision of the facility and training. Other villages where drip irrigation units are installed in Tank district included Moza Ranwal, Bara Khel and Jamal Awan.

"Women farmers who have been provided with this technology, are feeling proud and excited over getting daily use vegetables from their home premises and are now hoping to do better by growing more by using drip irrigation system," Kashif told APP.

Soon they will also opt for growing seasonal fruits as they gain experience and confidence from growing of kitchen gardening, he expressed the hope.

"People in Tank are very happy over the initiative launched by IWMI and are demanding for its expansion because in our district majority of the areas are facing acute water shortage," comments Asmat Shah Gurwaki, a journalist from Tank district.

Talking to APP, Asmat Shah said in Tank watching people and animal sharing water for drinking from a same pond is not something unusual for locals.

"These animals are not only ruminants including buffaloes, ox, goats and rams, but cats and dogs also satiate their thirst from the same pond, posing serious health hazards for humans" Gurwaki hastened to add.

He said initiative taken by IWMI is helping a lot people of water stressed areas for fulfilling their basic demand of clean drinking water besides obtaining of essential vegetable to feed the families.

Asmat Shah urged IWMI and other organizations working on climate change mitigation to come for help of people of this region who are badly effected due to impacts of environmental degradation and their survival is at risk due to sever water shortage besides losing of livelihoods.