A Hole in the Bucket

A Hole in the Bucket

A Hole in the Bucket is a factual story of thirst and sanitation from Chennai, South

Another day starts in Odai Kuppam, a marginalized community perched on the beach in Chennai. It is time for the men to trek to the beach for open-air defecation because there are no existing sanitation facilities for the community. Women in the community including Valli, have to trek 1.5 kms to the municipal latrine. Later in the day, empty vessels are being lined up for the arrival of the municipal water tankers. The poor people pay three rupees for each pot of tanker water in contrast to affluent households who pay around Rs.1000 for six months of water and sanitation coverage as tax.

Another day in Paruthipet, in peri-urban Chennai. Kuppan Naicker, no longer a farmer but a full time water vendor, goes to the water point in his land where the tankers are already lined up. Each tanker load of 12,000 litres earns him Rs.50, whereas it is sold for Rs.600 to city dwellers by metro water. The water losses in the operation are 35%. Declining ground water levels have already sent some wells out of commission and left farmers without a livelihood.

Another day starts in Arihant Towers, the largest residential complex of Chennai. The resident manager is concerned over the water needs of the 1500 flats in the complex. His conservative estimation is 2,00,000 litres per day to be provided through a combination of metro piped water supply and ground water.

This documentary seeks attention to the human cost of the looming water and sanitation crisis in the urban south.

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Written and Directed by:
Leena Manimekalai
Executive Producer:
Kusum Athukorala
Fowzia Fathima
S Janakarajan
Produced by:
Premiered at Stockholm Water Symposium, Sweden, 2007