Though surrounded by water, Vypeen Island in Kochi never seems to have enough drinking water. For some time now, the island has been witnessing continuous protests over drinking water shortages. For the last five days, Elamkunnapuzha panchayat in Vypeen has been struggling without water.
As a result, many women residents in this panchayat are resolved not to vote in the coming elections.
Local residents say the problem is so severe even candidates on the campaign trail have not yet visited this panchayat though they have visited neighbouring locations.
â€śThey donâ€™t come here to seek votes, because they are sure that they will not solve the issue. So we have also decided we will not cast our votes this time,â€ť says Shyna B, one of the residents of the panchayat, echoing the voice of others.
The locals say that elderly villagers and children are struggling the most without drinking water.
â€śWe are ready to starve till our death, but what about the elderly and children. We have not cooked properly, there is no clean water to drink. Where should we go?â€ť asks another resident Leela.
â€śOn Monday somebody said that water is coming through public pipes and we thought the issue had been resolved, but we just got half a bucket of yellow-coloured smelly water,â€ť she added
When the summer begins the water pipes in this panchayat dry up, and the people here are dependent on water supplied through tankers to meet their requirements. However, said Leela, â€śIn the last five days not even a single lorry was sent here. We donâ€™t even have a single drop.â€ť
Water shortage is acute in this area, but in other seasons either tanker lorries or panchayat pipe water would be available. â€śThe water supply in other seasons are also limited here. We get piped water only for two hours on alternate days. Mostly we depend on tanker lorries. So until our issue is resolved completely we will not vote,â€ť Shyna added.