Villagers drain Karnataka lake after HIV+ woman's decomposed body found in it

Karnataka villagers empty lake after HIV positive woman jumps into

The woman lived on the banks of the lake spread over 25 acres. The body of the 40-year-old woman was recovered by the police of Navalgund taluk from the lake at Moraba village in Dharwad on November 28. Word immediately spread that the water has been contaminated, creating panic among villagers. Villagers now trek about 3km to the Malaprabha Canal to fetch water. Reportedly, the lake is the only source of water supply for the village people and cattle drinking needs.

Afraid they would contract HIV/AIDS if they used its water, villagers at Morab, about 30 km from Hubballi, informed authorities they would not use it till fresh water was filled.

However, the HIV is a virus that gets transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids. "When an HIV-positive person dies, the virus also dies".

According to the New Indian Express, Dr Spoorthi Havaldar, the village doctor, in an attempt to dispel villagers' concerns, said that the lake water could be used following chlorination treatment.

Gram panchayat member Laxman Patil said the villagers refused to see reason, so pipes have been sucking water out for the past four days.

Authorities attempted to convince them that HIV can not be transmitted by water and that there's no risk of getting the virus by drinking the water.

District authorities have chose to distribute water from Mallaprabha river, a tributary of the Krishna river, among villagers for the time being. "There will be no water crisis till then", the PDO said. "We still have to drain water from 60% of the lake and need at least five days to empty it", he said.

Navalgund tahsildar Naveen Hullur said: "We tried to convince people to drink the lake water but they refused". 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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