The Union government has initiated the ‘Catch The Rain’ campaign to nudge people to create appropriate rain water harvesting structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata.

Prime minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22 this year launched the campaign aiming to “’conserve rainwater when it falls, where it falls so that water reaches every corner of the nation.”

Poonam Sewak, vice president – program & partnerships at Safe Water Network (SWN) speaks on the initiatives undertaken by SWN on “Catch The Rain” campaign in Assam.

Q. How is Safe Water Network attached to ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign?

‘Catch The Rain’ campaign will continue to be taken forward by SEWAH Water Knowledge Resource Center (WKRC) partners as “Jal Shakti Kendras”. Partners are setting up training and demonstration for RWH techniques at or near their Water ATMs. They are also regularly disseminating water conservation guidelines on their social media handles around Government of India’s Catch the Rain Campaign.

Q. What SWN is doing at Assam?

SEWAH partner Drinkwell, have set up rain water harvesting pits at their WKRCs in Guwahati and Jorhat in Assam and local community has been continuously sensitised on rainwater harvesting and water conservation.

Q. What kind of activities SWN is undertaking under the ‘Catch The Rain’ campaign?

Regular training is conducted to demonstrate the use RWH pits, importance of water conservation, how to build water harvesting pits, rooftop RWHS etc; removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks to increase their storage capacity; removal of obstructions in the channels which bring water to them from the catchment areas etc; repairs to step-wells and using defunct bore-wells and unused wells to put water back to aquifers etc with the active participation of people.

Q. How many people will benefit from this activity?

Through this training and campaigns nearly 8,000 people will be benefitted around WKRC stations in Guwahati and Jorhat who can effectively use this collected water for doing household chores like cleaning, using in the washroom, watering plants, washing clothes and utensils thus reducing the dependency on regular tap water and mitigating water wastage.

Q. What is the plan of Action for SWN in the future?

Project SEWAH through its seven partners and 18 WKRCs are reaching out to 80,000 beneficiaries in 17 cities across 11 states in India. The states are Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

Q. What strategies have been implemented by SWN to conduct this campaign?

SWN conducted a training workshop for their field team to acquaint them about the campaign and how to conduct demonstrations for rainwater harvesting.

Q. Where will these workshops or training sessions will be conducted – at the WKRC station, people’s houses?

The RWH demonstrations will be conducted at and around WKRC stations for the local community.

Q. What is the timeline for this project?

These training sessions will be conducted throughout the 4 monsoon months (June-September) in accordance with government’s ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign.

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