In a significant move to instill a sense of responsibility and awareness among the younger generation regarding water conservation, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma launched the ‘Meghalaya Water Smart Kid Campaign.’ This initiative, operating under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), aims to educate children about the vital importance of water conservation.
Abundance of Water, Yet a Challenge
- Chief Minister Sangma emphasized the paradox of Meghalaya’s water situation during the campaign launch.
- Despite its designation as one of the wettest places on earth, the state encounters challenges in preserving its water resources.
- Annually, Meghalaya receives an impressive 63 billion cubic liters of water through rainfall, but it can retain only 1 billion cubic liters.
- The Chief Minister explained that out of the total, 31 billion cubic liters flow to Bangladesh, and an equivalent amount flows to Assam.
Government Interventions for Water Conservation
- To address the urgent need for water conservation and sustainability, the Meghalaya State Government has undertaken various interventions.
- These initiatives receive support from externally aided projects (EAPs) and the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
- Chief Minister Sangma informed that the state is currently constructing 1000 water reservoirs to harness water effectively.
- These efforts are complemented by soil rejuvenation projects aimed at increasing the groundwater table.
Financial Commitment for Water Conservation
- Emphasizing the financial dedication to water conservation, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department has secured significant funding of approximately 8000 crores under JJM and EAPs.
- Acknowledging the challenges, he underscored the relentless efforts of officials in meeting targets and emphasized the critical importance of sustainability and the revitalization of water sources.
Recognition and Awards under Jal Jeevan Mission
- Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, Meghalaya has been recognized as the “best performer” by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The state has received additional incentives for its outstanding achievements.
- Chief Minister Sangma proudly announced that the state has successfully completed over 4 lakh household fixed water connections. The ambitious target of 6 lakh connections is expected to be achieved by March 2024.
Overcoming Challenges and Acknowledging Achievements
- Chief Minister Sangma shared insights into the challenges associated with the diverse terrain of Meghalaya, including laying pipe connections, identifying water sources, and creating reservoirs.
- Despite these hurdles, the government’s commitment to ensuring water availability in every household remains unwavering.
Recognizing Water Guardians
- In a heartening gesture, Chief Minister Sangma and PHE Minister Marcuise Marak awarded the Water Guardians for their inspiring efforts in the conservation of water bodies.
- Here is the list of winners in a table format:
Village and Community District Award Received Lumshyiap Village and Water Sanitation Community Ri Bhoi Recognition for Conservation Efforts Darechikgre Village and Water Sanitation Community West Garo Hills Recognition for Conservation Efforts Dura Kantragre Village and Water Sanitation Community West Garo Hills Recognition for Conservation Efforts