Karnataka: Villagers want lake drained after HIV-positive woman drowns in it

Karnataka: Villagers want lake drained after HIV-positive woman drowns in it

Residents of a village in India are draining their only source of water after an woman living with HIV drowned herself in it.

The drainage operation has run for the last four days and fresh water from a nearby canal will be used to replenish the lake over the next four to five days, said Naveen Hullur, who is in charge of the area.

It is claimed by reports from that the lake serves as the source of water to about 15 thousand people in Navalagunda taluk's Moraba village and as soon as they came to know that the lady was infected by HIV they have decided not to use water from that lake.

According to the local official, although the virus is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse, infected blood and from an infected mother to the baby in her womb or through breastfeeding, the villagers' alarm at the discovery a week ago drove the demand for the lake to be drained. Authorities tried to convince the villagers that the water was not contaminated and that they would test the water, but no one relented.

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Pradeep Hanikere, another villager, said the daily hardship was preferable to drinking water from the lake. Villagers alleged that she was suffering from HIV.

Another villager pointed out, "We would have consumed the water if it was the body of a normal person, but the woman died of HIV".

A former village panchayat member Ravi Kagadal told PTI that the villagers were afraid of contracting HIV/AIDS. "The authorities must drain out water and fill it with fresh water to save the lives of villagers".

Speaking to CNN News18, BC Satheesh, the Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said, "In some places, the water from the lake is used without treating even for consumption". More than 50 people are involved in pumping out water. "I will talk to officials to allow us to fill the lake from Malaprabha canal till December 20 or 22". "We at least need a week to empty and fill the lake".

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