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The Thenpennai River- Let’s Save a Natural Resource!

The Thenpennai River in India is in trouble.  Urban waste, sewage, industry, and mineral extraction are threatening the river, which is a tremendous natural resource in the area. Fortunately, a defender is present; Sustainable Life Trust is gearing up to launch a new campaign aimed at protecting the Thenpennai.  The Thenpennai River is roughly 250 miles long and has a catchment area of 1,424 square miles.  Although the river is dry for most of the year, when it flows it is the main source of irrigation and drinking water in the region.  Without this resource the communities around it will suffer from greater agricultural and health concerns.

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Life Trust

The main issues surrounding the Thenpennai River are urban waste run off, industrial waste, and mineral extraction (mostly sand mining).  Many of the communities surrounding the river choose to dispose of their sewage by dumping it in the river, rather than establishing or utilizing sewer systems.  Furthermore, corporations have been removing and selling valuable sand from the bottom of the river, eroding the shape and disturbing the flow of the ancient body of water.

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Life Trust

The Save the Thenpennai campaign in January of 2014 to promote understanding the value of the river and to teach conservation practices.  The campaign will travel 400km through the communities around the riverbank and will reach 50,000 people through 300 programs in urban and rural villages, as well as hosting lessons in 200 schools and colleges.  The stops will include education lessons as well as distribution of posters and handouts, promoting sustainable river practices.  Some of these practices include: wise water usage, how to harvest rain water, forming water protection committees, intensive tree planting, reducing garbage along river and better and cleaner and better waste management.  During school stops Save the Thenpennai will be asking students to take the following pledge:

  • I will not waste water
  • I will reduce flushing into the Thenpennai
  • I will respect the water (re) cycle
  • I will work to save our Thenpennai
  • I will spread the message of water conservation

If you’re interested in learning more or supporting this campaign visit Sustainable Life Trust or the Save Thenpennai’s blog.








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