Drought in Odisha 2015-16: drought and its alternatives – a citizens’ report on impact of drought and alternative for mitigation

A primary drought assessment done by ActionAid in 38 villages (covering districts of Bargarh, Kandhamal, Sundergarh, Ganjam, Bolangir, Koraput and Nuapada) in Odisha on May 2016 show that about 57% of the ponds and bandhas created by MGNREGA have failed to work because the structures were badly planned with the inlets and outlets damaged. An estimate by Down to earth (1-15, May 2016) says 12.3 million water conservation structures have been created under MGNREGA. And it comes 21 structures per villages. India's drought related expenditure since independence is Rs.3.5 lakh crores. 64% of the total expenditure under MGNREGA was on agriculture and agriculture-related works. From its inception in 2006 to March 2016, the government has spent over Rs. 3 lakh crore on MGNREGA. The ActionAid study further says that, 70% of the required food is not there for the drought affected families since many of them have not received the ration since February 2016.