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Granny, Family Brace For Severe Drought

Granny, Family Brace For Severe Drought
From left: Divneel Ram, Rohini Devi, Rishika Devi and Kiran Wati take a walk along the arid land in Tavarau Ba on August 25, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra
August 28
10:15 2018

A Tavarau family in Ba are bracing for what they an­ticipate will be the worst drought to hit the Western Divi­sion.

Kiran Wati, 74, says the ongoing dry spell has indeed impacted her entire family and community.

“So far this is the worst drought I have experienced,” she said.

However, Mrs Wati and her house­hold of 10 have commended efforts by the Government to provide ac­cess to safe and clean drinking wa­ter during these tough times.

Their only source of water has been a borehole, but after the long period of dry weather it has dried up and the water tasted salty as well.

“We cannot even drink that,” Mrs Wati said.

“District officers from Lautoka have inspected the well and advised the family not to drink from it.”

Mrs Wati said her family had been using the borehole for the past 25 years, however, the impact of this drought made it unsuitable to con­tinue drinking from it.

“Everything is drying up in our fields. If this continues, all our plants and animals will die,” she said.

Family member, Rohini Devi, 36, said they could not plant vegetables on their land now because of the water shortage and dry soil.

“We have all the seedlings, but it dies as soon as we plant it. It gets very difficult for us,” Ms Devi said.

The family also raises livestock such as goats and cattle, however, the lack of proper grazing pasture has taken its toll as well.

“We constantly have to look for feed from elsewhere to feed our live­stock. Some in the herd have died,” she said.

“Despite this setback, the family is thankful to the Government for distributing clean drinking water to households during this severe drought.”

For now all Mrs Wati, Ms Devi and family members can do is to pray for rain to provide water for their gardens and farm animals.

Edited by Percy Kean

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