NESFAS PARTICIPATES IN WATER CONSERVATION PROGRAMME AT MAWLUM MAWJAHKSEW
NESFAS participated in the Water Conservation Awareness Campaign held at Mawlum Mawjahksew, West Khasi Hills organized by the community on August 6, 2019. The NGO also collaborated with the community to host several programmes related to one of their ongoing campaigns: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
A cleaning drive was held in the morning where all the community members joined hands together and treated all public spaces as their own. A few male members of the community also visited the check dam to clean it. At the same time, the NESFAS team along with students from the Department of Social Work from Women’s College Shillong engaged themselves by painting walls at the community hall, kitchen shed, Upper Primary School and Lower Primary School.
Different messages related to WASH, water conservation and breastfeeding were painted across the four venues. “This is a good initiative that we are supporting as it helps us gather more knowledge about conserving water. We are also more aware about the ongoing WASH campaign that is being run by NESFAS at our community,” Krolin Thabah, Headman of Mawlum Mawjahksew said.
It may be mentioned here that Mawlum Mawjahksew has been facing water-related problems for many years. The members are working towards reviving back traditional water storing systems.
In the afternoon, all the members of the community gathered together at the Upper Primary School for a cup of tea. The community began the formal programme with a welcome speech from the headman who congratulated the community members for participating in the cleaning drive.
R W Wahlang, former Headman of the village, spoke about the importance of traditional languages. He said, “It is surprising that till date I still can’t figure what the traditional language of Mawlum Mawjahksew is. One word is pronounced in many different ways.” He encouraged NESFAS to work with several communities in order to preserve the traditional languages across the state.
“Cutting of trees leads to destruction of our mother earth which has led to shortage of water. Pine trees do not help conserve water in any form and we have plenty of these across our village. These trees are sucking out the water from the soil,” he added.
The NESFAS team then presented about the importance of breastfeeding and spoke about the importance of eating local and traditional food in comparison to the common food, which is found everywhere.
In order to sensitise the community on the several campaigns, the communities also prepared several songs, action songs by the children, several short skits and a dance performance. Students of Women’s College also engaged in the activities by singing a couplet and enacting two skits.
To wrap up the event, a rally was held from the Lower Primary School to the headman’s house where all the community members took part in a jovial march amidst singing couplets.