For weeks, heavy rainfall in the Himalayas had caused rivers to swell to such an extent that dams overflowed and threatened to break. The authorities had to open the floodgates, resulting in flooding of the lower reaches of the river. Many were left homeless, much of the crop was destroyed and seeds were lost. Where there was no dense plant cover, the stream took large amounts of soil with it. Tree-covered field margins, bushes and intercrops could clearly demonstrate their importance in erosion control.
Photo: View of the riverbed of the nearby river Sutlej.
Kirpal Sagar has its own water tower since 1986. The last weeks it has been renovated and is now freshly painted. Below the water basin is the pump room and the electrical workshop. The large pump, which pumps water from a depth of 80 metres, has recently been largely powered by solar power. Last but not least, the water tower offers a good panoramic view of the entire area.
Photo: Water tower
After some trials last year, a larger area was cultivated with eggplants this year. Next door are experimental fields where different types of mixed crops are cultivated in a concept reminiscent of a raised bed. The moisture-loving plants are at the bottom of the gutter, the dry ones at the top. Fruit trees and bushes border the plot, provide shade, hold the moisture. Well selected plant communities cover the soil at all times and protect it from erosion by wind and water. The high manual workload is more than compensated for by a large harvest of high quality. We are curious to see which plant communities prove to be particularly suitable.
Photo: Horticulturalists harvesting eggplants