- Roshan David
Success Story of Mandwa Watershed.
25 years ago, this farm did not exist. The field was barren, the soil dry and void of nutrients. All that grew were the cracks across the land. The people of Mandwa felt hopeless. Without water, like thousands of other rural Indian villages, they struggled to survive to meet their basic needs. Reliance on dirty water provided by bullock cart often led to illness, and the alternative option demanded 4 kilometres of walking under unrelenting sun.
In 1995, Mandwa’s luck changed; CRTDP secured a government grant to implement an Indo-German Watershed Development Program (IGWDP). Over the course of the next 5 years, CRTDP motivated the local people to volunteer their labour to construct check dams, loose bolder structures, gully plugs and a variety of other interventions, all aimed at increasing water retention. Their combined efforts along with highly trained engineers and project managers ensured that the program was a huge success ; securing a future with water all year round.
The numbers speak for themselves, prior to the IGWDP Mandwa had 3 wells, which often ran dry, and the water table was 20 feet below the ground. Today the village boasts 35 reliable wells, with water table only 7 feet below the surface. The area of arable land had more than doubled and a profitable new dairy business has flourished.
The villagers now enjoy plentiful harvests, high quality top soil and a reliable source of water. However, it is not without continued perseverance that this is the case. In order to maintain the water table and fertile ground, every year before the monsoons, the locals must spend close to a month clearing out and digging many of the watershed structures. This village is a perfect example of how hard work, dedication and a united community can create immense positive change and prosperity.
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