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India: Restoring lakes not an engineering task: How some communities did the job by Himanshu N July 30,2020   |  Source: Down to Earth

Forests are dying out faster than imagined. So are wetlands, lakes and ponds. Revival, however, is on the cards: Local bodies and activists are leading by example and working to save the dying the lakes in urban and non-protected areas. Teachers and students of KK School in Bengaluru’s Varthur, for example, took up on themselves to preserve a dying lake in the vicinity of the school. “The lake started deteriorating in 1981. The work to preserve it from further falling prey to urbanisation started around 1985, and since then, the efforts are on,” said MA Khan, headmaster of the school.

Community-based conservation

Khan said the fish in the lake started dying due to the sewage waste. “Students often asked about the foul smell emanating from the lake. We eventually decided to engage them in conservation work,” he added. Over the years, the school conducted various studies to get the attention of the state government and local bodies on the deteriorating condition of the lake. “We conducted water-quality tests and identified heavy metals contaminating the bore wells. Pollutants entered the food chain as well,” Khan said.

“With the help of local authorities, we reduced the inflow of sewage, allowing a significant amount of treated wastewater to enter the

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