With an aim to all round sustainable rural development, SSM launched Watershed Development Programme in 1992. The programme has an integrated approach. SSM has so far partnered with NABARD, The Govt. of Maharashtra, WOTR, Measurer – Germany, Kimberly Clark – USA and Equitable Water – UK.
Why Watershed Development?
Man and his environment are interdependent. Any change in the surrounding environment directly affects the people living therein. A degraded environment results in a degraded quality of life for the people. Thus a programme to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living of the people must be aimed at improving the environment they live in. Environmental degradation does not recognize administrative and political boundaries (e.g. village, taluka, etc.) A watershed provides the best environmental unit for planning a development program through optimum utilization and management of Natural Resources.
Why people’s participation?
As human beings and their activities are the primary cause of environmental degradation, only they can restore the health of the environment they have ruined by resetting their ways and activities towards the environment around. Hence there can be no sustainable natural resource management unless it involves the participation of all inhabitants of the concerned environment/area in an active manner.
The Program has an integrated approach involving the following components –
Soil and land management
Pasture and fodder development
Rural Energy management
Live stock management
Non farm activities, Like community living, SHGs etc.
Components of Watershed Development: –
Watershed Development Fund (WDF): After successful completion of Indo German Watershed Development Programme, NABARD has launched WDF programme. It is an integrated programme for rehabilitation of watershed for regeneration of natural resources. NABARD has sanctioned four WDF projects under which total 2673.79 hectors area is being treated.
- To extend micro watershed to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the inhabitants.
- To catalyze the formation of village groups for mobilizing their environment activities through SHG initiatives.
- To facilitate the people for sustainable economic development along the watershed lines.
Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP): – The objectives are to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water. The outcomes are prevention of soil run-off, regeneration of natural vegetation, rain water harvesting and recharging of the ground water table. This enables multi-cropping and the introduction of diverse agro-based activities, which helps in sustainable livelihood to the people residing in the area.
Project Implementation Agency (PIA): – Considering SSM’s past experience Vasundhara, Pune has preferred to allot the project to SSM in 2012. SSM is working as PIA in Dharmabad IWMP-49 cluster. The major role is to provide technical guidance to watershed committee, supervise WD activities, authenticate project accounts, encourage for cost technologies, evaluation the overall project implementation, set up institutional arrangements for post-project operation and development of the assets created during the project period.
The total treatment area is 2689.20 Ha covering 5 villages of Dharmabad IWMP-49 cluster. A Village Watershed Committee for each village council has to be established in order to implement the programme successfully. Total population is 5735 and households are 1021 in the project.
Project Training Organization (PTO):- Yashada, pune is selected SSM as PTO in IWMP projects for Mukhed, Degloor and Dharmabad talukas. Our major role as PTO is as mentioned below.
- To undertake capacity building of major stakeholders.
- To develop an effective network in watershed development activities.
- To ensure effective functioning of Govt. Schemes as major sources in watershed projects.
Last year there was severe drought in Nanded district. SSM had taken initiative to implement some innovation projects in affected area to relief from drought to the villagers. With the technical support of DILASA, Yawatmal SSM has developed an activity named as DOH Model. We excavated the Natural Nala 100 to 80M Doh inside the Nala. The portion is excavating as doh type with dipping and widening of nala.
Thus we have done total 3 KM work, 1 KM in Umraj tq. Knadhar and 2 KMs in Lath kd. Tq. Kandhar. The villagers volunteered by cutting the bushes and small trees. Now the work is in progress this is a Demo work of SSM with support of DILASA Yavatmal. Thus in this structure, near about 70 to 80 TMC water can be stored. As a result, the major issue of water scarcity has been resolved in the vicinity.
KEDARWADGAON, a small village located at the base of the mountain where agriculture is the main income source of the villagers. Being at the foothill, ground water level was very low. The villagers had to suffer water scarcity every year. Moreover, the percentage of rainfall has dropped down year by year. Farmers used to be in trouble for second crop cultivation season. Earlier, in 1972, SSM has implemented a watershed project with a lake in the village to address the water scarcity. Due to apathy of villagers and government officials’ ignorance, the lake was filled with silt in massive quantity. Eventually, the water holding capacity of the lake had decreased. It had directly affected on agriculture productivity, small enterprises and overall livelihood of the community.
SSM had taken an initiative to revive the silted lake, on finding, there was no provision of funds from government to complete the task. De-silting the lake was expensive. In defiance of the issues, the team had conducted an awareness campaign to convince two folded benefits among the people. Firstly, placing the sludge in to the farms improve the fertility. And secondly, the water holding capacity will increase. The villagers agreed on de-silting and even volunteered to help. Taking this into account, SSM then approached a funding agency with a proposal for support. The lake was completely de-silted in May 2014. Almost around 16,000 Brass of silt placed in to the farm fields. As a result of de-silting, all the villagers are benefited in some or the other ways.
Status of the Programme In SSM
- Number of projects taken up 18
- Number of on-going projects 05
- Number of projects completed 13
- No of Tahsils covered (Biloli, Naigaon, Kandhar, Loha) 04
- Total area covered by the Project 12751 Hectares
- Families covered 5514
- Population covered 33867
- Increased Ground Water table
- Availability of water for other domestic and Agriculture purpose through check dams
- Increased Fodder availability
- Employment in own village through watershed treatment work
- New technologies in Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry reached at grass root.
- Women become bolder, taking active part in village development, initiated group businesses
- Barron land brought under cultivation
- Increased income through introduction of new cash crops and their management
- Landless families got livelihood source in own village, so migration rate decreased
- Marginal farmers started allied income generation activities and increased income
- Village watershed committee now looking after all the activities and taking the programme ahead.