Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Around October of 2019 we decided to build a pond at Komari Farms in order to capture rain water from the upcoming monsoons. From previous years we had observed the way that rain water ran off the natural slope of the land and every year there was a stream that was created running through our land and emptying into the lagoon. If we could create a natural sand barrier to trap the water and plant crops to retain the water we could create a natural pond.
There were a few natural obstacles to this, namely we were worried about attracting crocodiles into the pond from the nearby lagoon. Not the biggest issue as the pond would eventually dry up and the crocodiles would move on.
What we didn't anticipate was the idiocy of men.
We rented a tractor to start digging the pond and had created what was a pretty good dam to trap the water. Then a few days later we got a visit from the coastal conservation department. Apparently 'someone' had reported that we were stealing sand without a permit! Upon further inquiry they asked us why we had a tractor there digging sand. On our own land no less! Once we explained that we were not taking sand, but merely re-positioning our own sand, on our own land, in order to harvest rain water for farming during the dry season there were a few creaky wheels that started to turn in the government officers head...
However the officer said that since a complaint had been raised, we had to put back the sand to where it was originally to satisfy that the complaint had been resolved and then apply to create a pond (which was actually a great thing to do he said), and then we can rebuild the pond again.
So... put back the sand, then apply to move the sand to do the same thing we already did?
Yes, he said.
So... that's what we did. Who are we to fight process? We're simple farmers after all.
After a lot of double work and needless paperwork we did manage to build the pond again. Although the second attempt was a lot smaller than the first, we created a decent sized pond. Hooray for progress! In farm life it's all baby steps. Let's hope that others can see what we are doing and take steps to retain rain water instead of depleting the bore wells throughout the dry season.