The place, in the past, has held the title of receiving highest rainfall in the world.
Inhabited by Khasi people, the society is proudly matrilineal. Husband of the youngest daughter lives with his in-laws and the couple’s kids take mother’s surname. What seems like a comfortable place to live have ironies to offer.
While it receives maximum rains in the world, the place has a shortage of drinking water. Rainfall water is not harvested in the area. As per news reports, there is 1 hour water supply in summers which ceases in winters.
The place is now tauntingly called as a ‘wet desert’. In 2021, the government launched a mega water supply scheme. Hopefully, the scheme will start improving the situation in the region.
Reasons for shortage of drinking water scarcity are actually not very clear. Some opine that due to massive deforestation, the water runs down the hills and is not retained at the higher levels of mountains. This is contested by the locals arguing that the region has not witnessed any deforestation. Another reason cited for shortage of drinking water is lack of water harvesting in the area. It is wrongly assumed that an area receiving maximum rainfall would not require any water harvesting infrastructure. Hence, even the local governments don’t consider it as an option.
now the area is being adopted by the Indian Army regiment – Assam Rifles. The regiment is planting trees in the entire region to increase the forest cover. In next 5 years, the region is expected to gain green cover.
Featured Image courtesy : Wikipedia