From houses to food chambers, people have their ways of coping in the drought; animals find little water holes to cool off

news Drought Friday, May 06, 2016 - 18:45

Since the monsoons failed last year, several parts of Karnataka are witnessing harsh conditions, forcing the government to declare drought in several parts of 27 of the state’s 30 districts.

According to data submitted by the central government to the Supreme Court, around three crore people – half of the state’s population – is reeling under the effects of one of the worst droughts the state has ever seen.

Read: In this Raichur village, drought is taking away livelihood, and Dalits are worst hit

The chief problems remain shortage of drinking water and lack of work, thereby exacerbating the seasonal migration that occurs during the summer from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. In several parts of the state, the state government is supplying drinking water through tankers, but villagers often say that it is simply not enough, often leading to skirmishes and extreme measures to obtain water, like in Kalamandargi village.

Read: In bone dry Kalaburgi, young girls forced to risk it all for a few pots of water

Despite this however, naturally, people do go about their daily lives, and so do the animals in the region. Here are some glimpses from villages in Raichur and Gulbarga districts.

Water pots near a well in Kalamandargi village, Kalaburgi district. Names of the pots' owners are scrawled onto the pots. The supply's never enough here and villagers leave them here for when the water comes.

A canal passing through Gudnal Cross, near Hutti, where Raichur's gold mines are located. Construction on the canal, part of the Rampur Lift Irrigation Project, began around four years ago. However, in all these years, villagers are yet to see a drop of water from the project irrigate their fields. The monsoon rains have damaged the construction in some places, they say. 

A Lingayat woman standing on the roof of her house in Amdyal village, Raichur district. Many houses spread black soil over the roofs to keep the heat at bay.

A Lingayat house in Amdyal village, constructed of stone and wood. Houses belonging to other communities too, are constructed with this material. They say the gray-silver  stone walls are cooler than concrete, while the wooden beams that form the roof prevent overhead heating. 

A Lingayat man sitting on the sitting area built on either side of the entrance to his house. Underneath him, in a chamber called the 'hage(y)', which was traditionally meant to store the year's jola. This practice is slowly dying in some villages, as people shift to concrete housing, which is easier to maintain.

A stone well in Kalamandargi village where a trickle of water is a source of hope. But often, villagers have lost their footing and fallen while climbing down into the well. Throught the day, a handful of people can be found waiting, hoping that there will be some water to fill into their pots, tumbler by tumbler.

One of the few watering holes near Lingsugur, Raichur district.

At one side were the goats led by a goatherd, in this little spot, a dog cools off

Waste water from Gudnal village which collects here. 

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