28. What are the factors that damage check-dams and ponds of The Water Conservation Project? Give its detailed information.

28

Flood walls are constructed around a pond. Animals go to the pond to drink water or walk inside the flood wall to graze. This continuous footfall of animals forms a narrow path-[KEDI]- and the upper portion of the flood wall sinks down and a small ditch is created in the wall. If this ditch is filled up every three years, one tractor of soil is sufficient to fill it up and this is not very expensive. If the village people do not take care of it, this ditch overflows with water when the pond is full of water. This water flows over the flood wall and damages it. Moreover the pond becomes empty and water scarcity is experienced. Farmers and leading persons of the village take this complaint to the government office and it takes 5 to 7 years to solve the problem. The farmers of the neighbouring village are aware and alert so they strive to maintain both the flood wall and the pond. Hence repairing is not very expensive, ponds are not ruined and farmers have not to experience water stress. Water is conserved properly and agricultural production goes on increasing.

Similarly mice make holes in flood walls and water starts flowing through these holes. This causes damage to the flood wall. If a farmer visits the pond and the flood wall once a year, he can get it repaired at very nominal expenses.

Soil comes with the flowing water into the pond and settles at the bottom of the pond. Hence its water holding capacity decreases and water seepage into the soil also declines. The soil that settles at the bottom of the pond is very fertile. If this soil is dredged up from the bottom of the pond, two purposes can be served at a time- the farmer can use this fertile soil in his field and increase his agricultural production and the holding capacity of the pond can be increased and water can be conserved.

In this way if farmers take care of these ponds and series of check-dams regularly, they can maintain them at a very low nominal expense. We should make every effort to maintain dams and ponds that we have constructed to store water. Regular maintenance of these dams and ponds will ensure their durability. We should also take care of the RCC structure. If the RCC structure has a small leak, it can be repaired by using only two bags of cement. Similarly when a check-dam overflows, its water falls into the basin. If the basin has a leak or damage, it should be repaired immediately. If repairing is done in the initial stage it will take only one or two bags of cement and this repairing work can be managed by the farmer himself. If this repairing is not done in the initial stage, the basin gets eroded by the constant flow of water. Then the flood wall of the check-dam also gets damaged and gradually the whole check-dam breaks down. Small repairing work can be done at a very nominal expense. Generally RCC structure is very durable. If construction is done with good quality materials it will be very strong. If minor cracks or damages are repaired immediately, they will cost very little. Sensible and smart farmers try to maintain check-dams and ponds by repairing their damages early. So repairing costs them very little. But lazy and careless farmers, inclined to depend on others, do not care to maintain their ponds and check-dams. Hence ponds and check-dams of these villages are often found in damaged or ruined condition. Hence such farmers have to face water stress.

Here I will talk about a very shameful habit of some farmers! If a farmer finds a little water collected on the way taking him to his field, he does not look for a wise and harmless solution of the problem; instead he ruins the check-dam itself! What a sinful gesture! Sensible and aware farmers of the village should stop such incidents. They should make collective efforts to maintain all the check-dams and ponds of the village. If farmers are concerned about the maintenance of these ponds and check-dams, sufficient water will remain in them. In 1000 fields, totally 3000 VINGHAS of land were covered under water. This water would naturally seep into the soil. On the other hand a leather bucket [KOS] was used to draw water from 10 wells. This is how farmers got water 66 years ago.