The team started with a meeting at the ISED office at Tiruvengadu and were updated on the activities of ISED and TALM.
The objective of the field visit was to :- familiarize the team with the area
- meet the potential partner and the field team
- understand the issues in the area with interaction with the villagers
- see for themselves and understand the issues visually
The first stop of the team was at Perumthottam. This village is the Panchayat headquarters and the village Nayakarkuppam falls under this Panchayat. Perumthottam village is also the village from which the neighbouring villages get their drinking water.
There are 8 villages under the Perumthottam Panchayat out of which 4 villages are tsunami affected, fishing villages.
The next stop was at the Nayakarkuppam village. The team interacted with the villagers and walked around the village to see the village and understand visually some of the problems. During this time they saw the community centre, the water sources for the village, the problem of saline ground water, and the urgency in the need to get fresh water for the villages
The most salient points brought up were :
1. the lack of water in the village - each family gets only 50 litres of water per week ! This water is used for drinking, cooking, washing and all their personal needs.
2. The women go the Perumthottam village to bring the water. This is around 3 kms. Away
3. The ground water is completely saline. This has happened as a result of the tsunami
4. the water supply for the village is usually from another village which is 5 kms away. The distribution lines have been damaged during the tsunami and are still not repaired.
Meeting with the villagers :
The team met with the villagers and introduced themselves. They said they were representatives from the Municipality of Turin and will go back to their people and present the points raised by the people. The actual decision depended not on them, but their own politicians.
The villagers explained the problem of water. They suggested that the project should concentrate on creating distribution lines for the village from Perumthottam tank. This would solve their immediate problem.
The villagers made a clear commitment to be responsible for the maintenance of the project.