What makes possible “sustainable community activity”?
By introducing the story of project in Andhra Pradesh
Ms. Kyoko Maekawa
In many places on the globe, including India, there have been many natural calamities such as water scarcity, soil erosion, big flood etc. The UN report predicts that almost the half of total population in the world will face the water scarcity problem in 2030. Also, the guideline of watershed project issued by Govt of India in 2003 mentioned “harvesting every drop of rainwater”, which makes us think of seriousness of water scarcity as well as water resource management.
In India also almost every summer season there are news on big migration from a village to another to seek for water when their original wells got dried up due to depletion of ground water.
The villagers in our project area also used to cut trees, burn the bushes for extending agriculture land to feed the increasing population which are part of the reasons for causing natural calamities. However villagers have never left their own village, and decided to overcome the issue to make the vision “the village wherein generations and generations are to live” into reality.
With such villagers’ will to do activity together, we, Mura no Mirai and SOMNEED India have implemented the project to regenerate, utilise, preserve and harvest the natural resources by community by dividing into 2 phases; Phase I from 2007 to 2010 and Phase II from 2011 to 2015.
First of all villagers gained the skill and knowledge about concept of watershed and necessary treatment work to regenerate forest and conserve soil and water in catchment area. Then villagers’ activity stepped up to apply the way of thinking how to conserve natural resources into the farming system. Those series of input by us changed the villagers’ mind set not to just depend on the support either by government or us, but to stand up to initiate their own activities.
Now 14 villagers have become trainers who can give training to other villagers about the concept of micro watershed management and skill for treatment work.
What does really “people’s participation” or “people’s initiatives” mean for community development? And how is it possible?
Moreover, what does “sustainable” mean indeed?
This seminar will be organised into 2 parts; the part 1 is the introducing our method and activities during our 8 years project which made it successful that villagers now make plan and implement the activities to achieve the villagers vision, and part 2 is the discussion with participants about other case studies on micro-watershed management.