Zunti Taut, a woman from Mishing tribe, fetching water from a raised hand pump in Kumolia Sapori village, Jorhat district, Assam
“The raised hand pump has solved the drinking water crisis that we faced for over three years,” said 28-year-old Zunti Taut, who hails from the Mishing tribe and lives in Kumolia Sapori village of Jorhat district. Her community settled here recently, after they lost their homestead land to erosion and flood. At first glance, it might look like a normal tribal settlement in this part of Upper Assam. Situated in the remote Jorhat district, Kumolia Sapori village of Jhanjimukh block remains submerged in water for seven to eight months of the year. The area remains dry only from November to May.
Zunti, a mother of seven, portrays an image of positivity as she draws water from the raised hand pump. Traversing through muddy water to reach her house, she says: “Our village is submerged for the most part of the year and we have to learn to cope with this. We used to fetch drinking water from a nearby village till the raised hand pump gave us direct access to clean and safe drinking water.”
Tribal women like Zunti display a sense of courage and resilience. “ We have our coping mechanisms, we built a small country boat by investing around Rs. 7,000, this provides transportation during the flood months. Now these water, sanitation (Oxfam and partner also built raised community latrines in the village) and hygiene facilities built by your organisation are an added boon. ” said Zunti.