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Watershed

Watershed... the word means a parting, a shedding of waters. But a watershed is a gathering place, also. It is a place where hills and plains and people's lives are connected by falling rain and flowing water.
A watershed is measured by the hilltops and ridges that are its boundaries. It is shaped by the hills, valleys and plains that are the landscape and is tempered by the forests, fields, lakes, and marshes that are habitats for its creatures.

In a watershed, the rain, the rivers, the lakes and wetlands, even our drinking water are all parts of an intricate cycle. Rain falling on the land soaks into the earth; some runs off to streams; some evaporates before it ever reaches the earth. The water that soaks into the ground becomes part of the groundwater and feeds streams and wetlands and supplies much of our drinking water.

Rain striking the ground has fewer places to soak in gradually... runoff is faster and more violent...causing land erosion and flooding. Water quality deteriorates as water drains from farms and cities carrying pesticides, animal waste, oil and heavy metals into our groundwater, streams.

Appropriate technological strategies in rain-fed regions could potentially result in multiple benefits such as ensuring food security; enhancing the viability of farming and improving the ecological balance. Integrated watershed Management is an answer to this.

With an aim to enhance income level, promote food security and improve the quality of life of the tribalpeople with in the context of tribal environment, culture and values; promote greater and sustainable selfreliance among and also to reduce the reversible environmental degradation, the SISS has accepted the challenge in the remote tribal areas of Adilabad District.

Mobilising the villagers and convincing them of the benefits of the Watersheds, the organisation could pursue them for allowance of using their land for the purpose. Involving Sarpanch, Patels, women, men and politicians, it could successfully organize meetings in different Watershed areas covering a total of thousands of hectares of land covering about 42 habitations.

Comprehensive survey works were conducted covering the population, livestock, roads, schools, land availability, cropdensity and pattern, wells and ponds, sources of irrigation, load of number of
persons on each hectare of land etc. The reports were sent to WASSAN. A joint team comprising members from NABARD, WASSAN, and CMP visited on inspection after receiving the survey reports and endorsed offers to SISS to work as the PFA for establishment of watersheds in different areas in the district.

As a part of an assessment test 'Qualifying Shramadan' works were entrusted to SISS in which one person from each eligible household of the watershed area had to work for four days taking
the total work value equivalent to earmarked amount decided by the NABARD. The works were successfully carried out by the villagers with soil and stone work in their respective areas.

The organisation was allowed to work on the projects and Action Plan works were entrusted to be completed in two phases, each of six months in the first year of the five year project. During the first action plan, activities related to 'Soil Conservation' and 'Agriculture-add on Components' works were undertaken.

Under the Soil Conservation works, Trench cum Bund (TCB) was done to check the flow and change its direction of rain water. Water Absorption Trench (WAT), Continues Contour Trench (CCT), Pebble Bunding (PB), and Stone Outlay (SO) work was also completed successfully. These works were necessary to control and regulate the flow of rain water in slope under various percentages of slopes from 3 to 6 and also for the absorption of the water inside the soil, enhancing its fertility. Under the Agricultural works detail sheets were prepared and agro-horticulture and dry-land horticulture activities were undertaken. Afforestation Bunds and
Grass seeding Bunds were applied on the stone bunds to make them naturally looking and more stable to control the wasteful flow of water. No-Pesticide-Management was applied to ensure no use of chemical or artificial pest control on crop. Demonstration of vermi-compost was given on the field of farmers Hundreds of cattle including cows, bulls, buffalos and goats of the families were vaccinated in the entire watershed area.

Both the phases –Action Plan -1 and 2 was completed simultaneously in the month of May, 2009. Considering the fact that a person, however skilled he may be, needed training and regular orientation to maintain as well as enhance his skill according to changing scenario in any field. In the watershed sector, trainings were imparted under 'Community' and 'PFA' heads.

 

 
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