Mandawar village, Jhalawar
In the Mandawar village near the Jhalawar town, water scarcity has become a thing of the past. Of course, Jhalawar is the ‘Cherrapunji of Rajasthan’ and there is plenty of rainfall as compared to the rest of Rajasthan, but lakes and rivers have gone dry in the past 10 years. The water levels have gone down and agriculture has been severely affected.
The government efforts with RAJAMIIP, in association with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), aims at improving the livelihood of farmers by rehabilitating and improving over 500 existing MIPs; at the same time encouraging them to form Water User Associations, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Under RAJAMIIP, IIRD has initiated capacity building of WUAs through 37 Sub Projects in Jhalawar, Baran and Bundi districts. IIRD conducted the following activities in an orderly manner, of which most of them are ongoing:
Conducting 36 Mass Awareness Camps
Conducting Base Line Socio-Economic Survey of WUAs members
Data Entry and Processing using software
Selection, Identification and Formation of WUAs
Understanding the Social dynamics of formed WUAs and opening account in each WUAs
Constitution of project sub committee in each WUAs
Capacity Building of NGO professionals, Training of Trainers, Training on Capacity Building and Exposure Visits
MoU between WRD - WUAs and Fund mobilization towards delivery of Agriculture support and extension services and linkages with agriculture inputs for increasing
Holding timely meetings
Documentation of Learning
Jagadish Mali, the President of the WUA, is an honest, sincere and a hard working man, who has gone out of his way to ensure that the village remains united on the distribution of water for irrigation, thanks to the capacity building and training sessions and the hand holding by IIRD. IIRD has also undertaken the training of the Association members at IMTI, Kota and Jagdish has been to the training camp at least 3 times, 4 days each. Select farmers were also taken to Nashik to interact with other farmers, who have been growing fruits and vegetables through drip irrigation methods.
IIRD officials have worked with all 5 members (President + 4) the WUA members and have resolved every single conflict in the village, to ensure that water reaches from tail end to the head. The lake is the only source of water to the fields around the village and it was very important that water reaches everyone. Since 2010, the major emphasis has been on trust building and rule enforcement in the association and village. And now the farmers have learnt to the effective use of water from tail to head. The farmers were able to grow a crop this year, despite the fact that the rains failed the village.
The WUA has another major task at its hands- cementing the canals from the lake to the fields, so that they don’t have to waste their energies and efforts on creating canals every year. The WUA and the village are very happy with IIRD officials and look forward to their meeting every month, to discuss not just water and irrigation related problems, but also other problems of the village.
All the farmers now pay 5 Rs to 10 Rs per bigha for irrigation, that takes care of WUA’s running expenditure.
Kadila village, Jhalawar
Kadila village is not as fortunate as its other neighbors. A rocky terrain, no greenery or vegetation, their only source of water is the ‘Kadila ka Talav’, behind that rocky and stony mountain. Other villages nearby (Sohanpura, Tardi, Dabli, Pipliyawas and Lavasa) have been able to create canals to their fields, but Kadila village has not been able to do much. IIRD has been working with the WUA ever since its inception, resolving the various differences in the village and with the other villages nearby, which might require a little more time.
That apart, the WUA has managed to get the water from Kadila Lake to a certain part of the village only, also because of the differences with the Irrigation Department, not to mention that the village terrain is very rocky.
However, IIRD has succeeded to gather the villagers under the WUA, and train the villagers to work together to get water for everyone in the village and around. The WUA now focuses to work in tandem with the Irrigation Department so that the benefits of the program reach them as soon as possible.
Talwas Village, Bundi
Talwas has a dam (built in 1956), that sustains Talwas and other three villages- Meenon ki Jhopdi, Dhanakpura and Baradi. Talwas WUA is very progressive in its orientation, as opposed to its Gram Panchayat, and the of the Association and its members have been allying closely with IIRD and following each and every step offered by IIRD officials, through training programs, capacity building sessions and one to one meetings. They have been trained at IMTI at least 2 times.
The WUA understands the imperative of reaching at solutions through mutual discussions, peer pressure and agreement, and has been following the same path towards empowerment and democratization in the village.
In its experience, IIRD has found this WUA to be one of the most effective in its village. While there have been problems like- clashes with the Panchayat over the tendering of the dam, work responsibilities for water oriented issues, this WUA has resolved all its problems and eagerly awaits its turn (the 30 month criteria) for more autonomy and responsibility to take charge and make amends to the dam and canals and increase the livestock around.
The WUA has already broadened the borders, planted more trees around the lake and dam and repaired the leaks in the dam, the water levels have increased, as it waits for more its ID Cards. In fact, one of the members, Chotulalji Meena has even donated a part of his land for the WUA office. One has all the reasons to look forward to the positive results and prosperity at Talwas and its WUA.
Kodi Village, Bundi
The dam at Kodi provides water to Kodi villages and the neighboring dhanis around, effecting 2500 bigha land. IIRD, through the RAJAMIIP program, has nurtured each and every WUA, like its own child, and Kodi has been no exception. IIRD officials have interacted with this WUA almost every day and have hand held them at each and every step, right from motivating them to encouraging them to filling forms to taking major and minor decisions to taking up their cause in the government offices.
Ramkrishan Saini, the President of the WUA, is an old and a much respected man in the village, and the youth are always willing to help him with all developmental work. However, the village, as a whole, lacks initiative and will to reform.
However, IIRD has created an ideal platform, through the WUA, for the village to develop itself. The WUA has repaired all the leaks in the dam, that was built in the 1970s and now yearns for more autonomy and power so that it can create more meaningful work for agriculture and the prosperity of the village.