Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Parmarth: a hope for waters' right in Bundelkhand

PARMARTH has been working towards community water source sustainability by ensuring water security with inclusion & gender perspective. In the last one decade it has focused on the poorest & marginalized groups. The organization believes that awareness and community empowerment ultimately demands governance accountability. The organisation’s spread is limited to the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Pani Panchayat, with due representation of women and dalit groups is central to the intervention strategy. It has been playing instrumental roles in ensuring drinking water for the community members through community’s own management. Training of women members and community cadre about maintenance of the hand pumps has helped in ensuring the regular water availability and reducing the drudgery work time (fetching of water) for women & adolescents members in the families. It has also resulted in number of drinking water sources being established & repaired.
The organization has adopted the potential of water-livelihood linkages as a focal long term Integrated Water Resource Management programme in its operational areas. It has also developed model Roof Water Harvesting and soak pits with participatory approach & community contribution strategy for water conservation and protection. Work on water brings the organization close to drought & livelihood agenda. Parmarth has demonstrated model work on water livelihood linkages by developing micro irrigation model, developing water structure for ensuring water source sustainability. Drought has impacted in the live of the poor families and water crisis further forced poor families to migrate. In this direction, the organization has addressed the water crisis during the drought season and ensured water availability throughout the season through developing and maintaining water sources points. Intervention on drought also consequently relates to education issues of adolescents / girls’ children.
Working with the government is key to the organisation’s function. It mobilizes support of district administration by participating in the various meeting / events like Jal Diwas, etc. Collaboration has led to assured effective implementation of government water programmes and facilitation of inter-sectoral dialogue and information sharing. Another impact of this partnership is convergence and inters departmental coordination and linking of the water issues with health, nutrition, education and other department such as forestry.
In the recent times Parmarth exclusively focusing on community water conservation and protection under MGNREGA, flagship poverty alleviation and job guarantee programme of the government of India at the panchayat level. It also actively monitors the Bundelkhand Package drought-proofing programme.
The organization undertakes research and monitoring of public expenditure on water issues through budget tracking and government policy. It facilitate platform for informed discussion on water related policy with poorest & marginalized perspective. Through its networks and alliance relationship, the organization facilitates interaction among government, NGOs and civil society groups and generates opportunities for poor people towards ensuring water security throughout the year.
The followings information sums up the outcome of the work of the organization:

• A network comprising of 372 women’s groups with 4522 women representatives from rural Bundelkhand.
• Forty nine Water Bodies (Pani Panchayat, Village Water and Sanitation Committees, Jal Saheli) enlists support of 813 functional members.
• Repairing of 1082 Hand pumps ensured drinking water availability to 21625 families.
• Installation of 340 new Hand Pumps provided drinking water to 6756 families.
• Approximately 4122 families were benefitted from restoration of 226 Hand pumps.
• Thirty seven new dug wells were constructed to benefit 1868 families.
• 45 wells were deepened & renovated benefitting 2352 families and addressing their yearlong drinking water need.
• Twenty five new check dams benefited 513 families
• Construction of 20 new ponds benefitted approximately 1800 families.
• Renovations of 31 ponds benefitted 3000 families.
• 28 Roof Water Harvesting Structure constructed benefitting 364 families.

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