Shillong ( Meghalaya ), Mar 24 : Rotary Club of Orchid City Shillong organised “Peoples’ Water Conclave” to mark International World Water Day 2021.
The Conclave was organised to foster the participation of and dialogue between various stakeholders, including governments, civil society organizations, traditional bodies and the scientific and academic communities aimed to promote sustainable water management and to create awareness on water-related problems focused to promote better management of water resources at local levels.
Ms Isawanda Laloo, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District, joined the Conclave as Chief Guest. The program was attended by State and Central Govt. Agencies (Dept. of Water Resources, Govt. of Meghalaya, Swachh Bharat Mission Meghalaya, PHE Dept., Central Ground Water Board, etc), Traditional Institutions, Students & Faculty from MLCU and St. Edmund’s College & NEHU, Shillong. President, Rtn Dr. Vincent Darlong, Secretary, Rtn Vivek Kumar, Water & Sanitation Chair, Rtn Ajoy Nongrum and members of RCOCS and Rotarians from other Rotary Clubs were also present on the occasion. Technical deliberations with practical experiences were delivered by eminent speakers in the field.
Among the speakers were, Prof. (Dr.) Dibyendu Paul, Head, Dept. of Environmental Studies, NEHU, Shillong, . Mark W. Kharkongor, Consultant, Swachh Bharat Mission, Meghalaya, Ms Michelle Khongwir, Faculty, Dept. of Environmental Science, St. Edmund’s College, Shillong, Prof. (Dr.) DeveshWalia, Head, Dept. of Geology, NEHU, Shillong, Dr.Vincent T Darlong, Vice- Chancellor, MLCU, Shillong, and. Bantylli Nari, President, Synjuk Ki Nongsynshar Shnong Nongthymmai Pyllun, Shillong.
The Chief Guest Smt. Isawanda Laloo while commending efforts by the Club and collaborators, namely, MLCU, Saindur Enviro and MIMDI, highlighted the success stories and challenges of the district. She emphasized on Rainwater Harvesting and also lauded the efforts of thirteen Durbar Shnongs who have come together to address their water problems by securing MNREGA at Block level and also received award. She added that we need to work together on securing the water resources in the district and state, both quantitatively and qualitatively. She urged everyone all the stakeholders to come together and work on a long-term localized action plan. She also requested that the Dorbar Shnongs can adopt a certain stretch of river/streams and work on maintaining the stretch.
The other speakers emphasized on the need of a long term vision to address the issue of water problems, they stressed that the local governing bodies along with the residents should work on maintaining the water sources. Different issues related to water resource management were discussed in details by the speakers. They also mentioned that we need to bring together all resources and work as one team to solve the issues of water management and pollution. They also pointed that a dorbar/locality level or central drain-water/wastewater treatment facility is the need of the hour since the waste waters are entering into the streams, polluting it.
Speakers also mentioned the need of checking on the solid waste dumping, particularly single-use plastics into the streams/river, citing the recent news on the choking ofWahumkhrah river by single-use plastic wastes.
The presentations were followed by a very active discussion session in which the participants raised queries on the issues related to water management in the city and state, the queries were answered by the experts/speakers.
Secretary Rtn Vivek Kumar delivered vote of thanks and thanked everyone for attending the event. He ended the program with a quote, “Do the Earth a favour, be a Water Saver”.