A Mid-Sajibu Day's Choirol

Along came Sajibu with Yeningtha—the queen of seasons. It’s that time of the year when Mother Nature puts on her flamboyant gown. However, for the past few years in Manipur, the arrival of Yeningtha has become synonymous to an impending man-made drought that lasts for a month or so. Water scarcity between the months of Sajibu and Kaalen has become a seasonal norm. So, we have yet another phobia to offbeat blockade phobia: ‘Esing fanglaroidra haibagi phobia.’

Yeningtha is supposed to be the best time of the year for everyone; merrymaking and basking in the beauties of Nature, while Yaoshang and Cheiraoba offer their best. But a wind of apprehension continuously sweeps at the possibilities of an impending drought in our (sana di leitaba) Sanaleibaak for the last few years.

The causes of water scarcity in Manipur are natural as well as artificial. While it is obvious about the natural factors, the artificial factors should be seriously considered.

Rising guild of waterpreneurs and commercialization of water

Water, water, everywhere yet 250 bucks to pay for 500 litres is the present norm of the day. They say water is precious (oh yes, it is). Water saves lives (yes, it does). Preserve water (who does that but the waterpreneurs).

Over the years, Manipur has evolved its image as a land of enterprising entrepreneurs (which in my opinion is a pretty good sign). It’s encouraging to know about the rising guild of promising entrepreneurs in our state. But then there are some who are caught in the wrong business namely esing thika louba kaangbu, goolie, yoo or any type of mayai kaaba nisha yonba kaangbu. Their sense of business is beyond my good understanding. Waterpreneurship or in simple terms esing yonba gi thika has become quite a fad. Water reservoirs are empty for the masses but they are not for waterpreneurs and that’s where we should start pondering over.

If there is enough water supply for the waterpreneurs why not for the masses? Or is it that they are sharing whatever profit that they loot from the public? If there is a problem at any of the water reservoirs, isn’t it the duty of the concerned authorities to tackle it? How can they sell us what we deserve for free?

Measures to be taken up to fight water scarcity
1. Appeasing the Rain God
“Appeasing the Rain God with dhoop thaomei, flowers and fruits would be one of the ideal measures to fight water scarcity,” says Louwu Sing-u expert Mr. Tomaal. Many civilians are also of the opinion that if they keep appeasing the Rain God, they will not suffer from drought or a drought like situation in Manipur. Superstitious though it sounds, it is one of the measures that can be recommended to fight water scarcity in Manipur.

2. Empowerment of a proper Frog ministry
Empowering the various Frog ministers also seems to be one of the sensible options. The frogs have been contributing a major share in maintaining talks with the ministry of nong chingi affairs currently based in the Soraren Department. They have been meticulously croaking for days and nights as a result of which the state has finally received some amount of rainfall over the past few days.

In a state like Manipur, it is an ironical situation where frogs are more effective than the MLAs, ministers and their concerned departments.

3. Harvesting of rain water at our own Pukhri /tank
The best solution to fight water scarcity is by harvesting enough rain water at our own pukhri or water tanks. It’s the high time to dig more pukhri or construct tanks. Having a pukhri in our ingkhol may sound old-fashioned to many but then it is one of the best ever solutions to fight water scarcity. Awareness programs on hygienic harvesting of rain water should be held by ‘mabukchel chaoba NGOs’. Media should also play its role in educating the masses about proper harvesting of rain water. By and by, water is our basic necessity. Let us not waste it. Let us not commercialize it as well.

This article was published on 5 April 2015
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