Impact Journalism Day by Sparknews: A better home - No. 19

Saving storm water for dry spells

DHAKA • Imagine a technology so advanced that it can save communities in drought-hit as well as waterlogged areas, and yet so simple it can be administered by rural women with no formal education.

This technology, a water management system called Bhungroo, is what Naireeta Services offers to communities in need. It stores storm water underground, retaining it in conformable subsoil strata, and injects the water back during lean periods.

Harvesting water for about 10 days each year, it can supply enough water to people for as long as seven months. The technology makes it possible for farmers to cultivate crops all year round.

Bhungroo is owned and managed by the poorest women in the villages. Naireeta targets them, following Mahatma Gandhi's principle of "Antyodaya" - serving the last person in the queue, or the downtrodden. It provides this technology free to the poorest of the poor, and charges more wealthy farmers at twice the cost.

Naireeta Services director Biplab K. Paul with village women who have benefited from Bhungroo, a water management system.
Naireeta Services director Biplab K. Paul with village women who have benefited from Bhungroo, a water management system. PHOTO: THE DAILY STAR

Nearly 19,000 farmers have benefited from this technology so far.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2016, with the headline 'Saving storm water for dry spells'. Print Edition | Subscribe