Sunday, April 21, 2024

Watershed – Community involvement


Watershed Planning and Community involvement

An effective approach to Watershed Planning requires an Overall development of the area where Watershed approach has to adopted . The Population or Community living in the area has to be facilitated so that Community Participation can be channelized.

What is watershed planning??

The Village Communities involvement gives a clear picture of interventions to be taken up. In Rapid rural appraisal ,the feedback of Village Communities are not considered and Planning is not Participatory. The impact has shown that in most of the cases , intervention taken up through Rapid rural appraisal are not much of use and hence lacks Sustainability. Participatory mode has shown better results in Watershed Management.

Distress Migration -a barrier in Effective Participatory Planning

Migration is a big problem especially in context of hilly areas that acts as barrier in Participatory Planning . Obviously, anyone if given or gets an opportunity will surely thinks for further development. Most of us have migrated from one place to other in want of further development.


 watershed view of Uttarkashi district in India!!

If Migration from Village is for a Positive and effective development, then it is desirable and infact Contributes to human Productivity. Migration, if is distress will neither Contributes to own development nor to Net human Productivity and hence is undesirable.

farmers migrating from villages to cities

It Creates a barrier in development of economy. The income generating opportunities ,if available in Village itself, will reduce Unwanted Pressure on Cities and will Prevent the unbalance situation of Population in Village and Cities. Watershed Planning needs the involvement of people. For such involvement , income generating activities has to be created so that the Unwanted & distress migration can be prevented. This enhances the opportunities for more Participation and involvement of Village Community in Watershed Planning.

What is Distress migration ?

In Indian Context, it has been seen that for the sake of employment the People from Villages enter the cities that too mostly for Unskilled manual labour. Once they get it, they get in to it without analyzing the economics/Profitability. With time, they find themselves in a Position where expenditures exceeds their income .They have also to sent a part of their income to their families residing in Village.

They Create slums in Cities in want of cheap stay. The rent they pays for such slums infact is still expensive w.r.t their income. They are bound to live in pressurized monetary condition. The Story not stops here .The inflow of such labour groups add pressure on City’s infrastructure like Electricity , Transport etc. This way demand for land in City’s increases. The real estate price increases .With the increase in human inflow, the affordable capacity decreases. In lack of sufficient money, they even fails to help their family in Villages . All these are not less than a metal shock to their families. Though labours are required in cities but excessive and unwanted inflow in the cities creates a Unbalance condition. This Unskilled informal labour creates a Vicious cycle of Poverty.

 Distress migration!!

Role of Watershed Management in context of Migration

Overall country’s income and contributes to increase in GDP. Managing the Distress migration especially from villages is real challenge in effective management of Watershed. To check it, the target should not be migration rather the target should be addressing the Productivity in the Migration. i.e emphasis to be given on capacity building of Village community w.r.t Migration followed by taking up of Watershed interventions that provide a chance for them to think over ill effects of distress migration.

 Watershed Management!!

Watershed projects has Vital role in Checking Unwanted migration. Watershed Projects are effective means to educate the Village Community as it has a Vital component of Capacity building and orientation at Village level itself. The first Step in Watershed Management is Proper orientation regarding Community organization through handling issues like migration. This way the real significance of migration and its effectiveness can be understand by the Villages masses. Watershed projects, through various income generating interventions can make them understand of better opportunities of income generation in Village itself rather than migrating for the same . Entry point activities and demonstration are 2 preliminary or startup activities of Watershed Project in initiation Phase that helps Village masses to get a clear view of profits in residing in Village itself .So, in all it can be analyzed that:-

During migration, in low economic ,informal labour system there is no social security and no profitable income .The solution is to help the farmers through on farm and off farm interventions like providing help through better Agriculture inputs and other off farm interventions etc so as to make them more self dependent in Village itself.

Watershed Plus approach and its Significance

Watershed plus is an approach for betterment of Village Community. It provides income generating and livelihood opportunities . This way their participation in Watershed Planning can also be facilitated .It is important to Understand that until and unless the Community resides in the Watershed area , the effective planning and execution is difficult. Here, it is important to note that an important objective of watershed projects

 Watershed Plus!!
is “ Livelihood security of Primary Stakeholders“. Watershed development doesn’t solely means Planning and execution for Soil and Water conservation by Constructing Check dams , trenches and other Water harvesting structures. Rather, approach is planning for their livelihood through on farm or off farm activities . In on farm activities , Production system has to be strengthened in such a way that efficient production techniques can facilitate the Soil and Water conservation along with focus on income generation . Both , on farm or off farm activities should be Planned in such a way that it provides a means to the Village Communities to have their income in Village itself . Finally ,it will create an opportunity for them to develop Micro enterprises in Village itself .So, an effective mechanism can be better developed in Village itself through Watershed Management. This way the Community will become an integral part of much needed Community Participation in way to Success of Watershed approach .Watershed definitely needs a Sustainable approach. It is obvious that , the Watershed can be developed, managed and later on become Sustainable only if Village Communities resides in the Watershed area and not go for unwanted migration. There is every scope of Creating opportunities for Village community through Watershed planning.

That’s infact the beauty of Watershed approach.


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