The Deepening Drought of the Kutch District, Gujarat: 893 Villages Declared Scarcity Hit.

November 2018

For the rural communities of the Kutch district of Gujarat, access to sustainable water supplies has been a distressing issue for decades. Considered one of the aridest zones throughout India, water security has become a deepening crisis and devastating consequences are continuing to occur. In 2017, we began a partnership with Samerth Trust, to collaboratively tackle these water security issues. In seek of improving the conditions for those within this perennial water scarce area, we are constructing 73 roof rainwater harvesting systems in Dholavira village, helping families capture the precious monsoon rains and store in individual tanks for year-round drinking water. However, many are still without access to water, and scarcity issues have intensified. The Kutch district received the lowest rainfall throughout the entire state this season.

On 20th September 2018, the Gujarat State Government declared the entirety of the Kutch district, all 893 villages, as scarcity-hit. Receiving just 4.37 inches of rainwater, the Kutch district’s rainfall deficit stands at 74.04%. Across the state, Rapar and Bhachau, the home of Dholvira Village, received just 1.02-inch of rain. With an average rainfall of 7 to 9 inches each year, this is the lowest rainfall recorded in the region for over 20 years.

Temperatures throughout the region also continue to rise, with average temperatures now exceeding 36°C each day. Such temperature increases, alongside the meagre retrieval of 2.6cm of rain, means that no one can predict the future for these communities. The severity of this crisis cannot be understated. The community is dependent upon agriculture, animal husbandry and labour work for their livelihood. Many throughout the community have had no choice but to migrate to alternative regions in seek of pasture and wages for survival.

With your help, we can transform the future of a village. Freedom for women to work. Freedom for girls to gain an education. Freedom from a life of poverty.

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