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Access to water

Before the intervention of Christian Aid partner SAMVAD, Banshi Hansda and his wife, Khagia Devi, couldn’t grow any vegetables due to the arid and drought-ridden environment, a consequence of climate change.

Without a rice crop of their own, they were forced to go to other people’s fields and collect the waste from their crops to feed their children.

Banshi Hansda, India

‘We could hardly eat for six months, and when we did have food, we would maybe eat once or twice a day. I’d often eat just once and save grain for the children so they could eat twice a day.

‘We had to work as labourers in the nearby town, cutting earth for someone else, and we would earn ten rupees a day. That was a very hard time for us, and we worried a lot about our children,’ said Banshi.

Much-needed water

The community in Lalpur were provided with a lift irrigation system, bringing water from the small supply in the river basin up to their fields, providing them with much-needed water.

Now the people of Lalpur are growing a variety of vegetables, often selling their surplus at market. As a result, Banshi and Khagia now own four goats, three bulls and a cow.

‘We have five acres of land, but before the lift irrigation was introduced nothing would grow - it was almost barren, and the only thing that grew was grass.

‘With support from SAMVAD, we now grow rice paddy, wheat, potatoes and other vegetables, including green leafy vegetables. Out of 12 months of the year, only the two hottest months in the summer are without agriculture. Now we have enough to eat, even when we’re not working in the fields.’

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