Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

K'taka: Villagers empty lake after HIV+ woman jumps into it

K'taka: Villagers empty lake after HIV+ woman jumps into it

The Moraba Lake, which is equivalent to about 25 football fields in size, is the biggest in the Navalgund taluka. "If they can't, then how can they force us to drink water from the lake where we found the body of a woman", he said. Residents in Morab village of Dharwad district feared that the lake, which is their main source of drinking water in the drought-affected area, has been infected with the virus, Reuters reported. But the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) spreads only through body fluids and outside the human body, the virus can not survive beyond minutes in air or water. Dr Prabhu Biradar, Hubli-Dharwad City Municipal Corporation (Chief Medical Officer) said, "After the patient with suspected HIV committed suicide, people of the village have started removing water from the lake so that they don't get HIV which is totally unscientific as HIV doesn't spread through water". The lake proved to be the only source of drinking water for the residents in the taluk, stated a report by News Minute. Villagers alleged that she was suffering from HIV. Unable to reassure the locals, authorities are now draining the 36-acre lake and planning to refill it with water from the Malaprabha canal.

A former village panchayat member Ravi Kagadal told PTI that the villagers were afraid of contracting HIV/AIDS. "The villagers themselves took the initiative by providing pipes and other equipment required to pump out water from the lake", Bidralli said. In spite of the district administration trying to convince the villagers that the waters are safe, nobody is ready to listen.

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District authorities have chose to distribute water from Mallaprabha river, a tributary of the Krishna river, among villagers for the time being. There is another problem, the taluk administration wants us to finish the task by December 6 as the Malaprabha right canal will be closed after December 8, and we have to fill the lake.

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