New Delhi: Around ten villages of Hamirpur’s Sarila block in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh have become drought resilient, thanks to a project initiated by the PwC India Foundation (PwCIF) along with Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan.
As many as 2,025 families in these villages have been benefited within a year of implementation.
The ten villages were selected due to their remoteness, socio-economic background, lack of irrigation facilities, higher level of soil erosion and continuous drought for three years. With ground water exploitation surpassing 70%, these villages were declared semi-critical.
“The need of the hour was to mitigate the crisis by reducing hunger and vulnerabilities through water harvesting and management,” the PwCIF said in a statement.
The project, implemented from June 2016 to July 2017, focused on creating awareness on sustainable and improved agricultural practices among community members through regular meetings, training, capacity building sessions and demonstrations by the Parmarth team.
Today, 90 percent of the members and leaders of the Pani Panchayats or water management groups created under the project have become aware about drought-resilient and sustainable agricultural practices.
In addition, the project has supported construction of eight water harvesting structures which have helped save approximately 4,950 cubic metre of water to be utilised for irrigation and recharging of the groundwater.
Releasing a report titled “Reducing Hunger and Vulnerabilities in Hamirpur,” PwC India Foundation Vice Chairman, Jaivir Singh said: “We at the foundation focus on regions that have limited support from the private sector to address development related challenges by making sure locally relevant solutions are applied through interventions based on the context of communities in the region.”
This report captures the success and challenges of the commendable work done by our partner organisation and the community that has been dealing with drought conditions, which in turn affects many other elements related to their livelihoods, he added.
Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan Founder Sanjay Singh said, “For three years, communities from Hamirpur district have been battling worsening drought like situations. Together with PwCIF, we began tackling vulnerabilities faced by them, by first building capacities of the community members, planning area-specific interventions and finally executing these on the ground.”
By making the beneficiaries drought resilient through improved agricultural practices, they are slowly beginning to restore and sustainably manage their own landscape to meet their daily needs, he added.
Seeing positive impact created by the project at the ground level, the PwCIF has decided to initiate another intervention in the same block to address the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of Dharaupur village.