Improving lives through adoption of integrated approach to Water, Conservation, Sanitation, Women Empowerment

Partner

Action for Food Production (AFPRO)  is a not for profit organization, providing socio-technical support for ensuring food security and developing livelihoods through proper natural resource management, continuing its unique focus on the development and management of water resources. It reaches out to poor and marginalized communities throughout India, particularly small and marginal farmers, landless, tribals, and others having urgent needs.

Project Snapshot

More than 70 percent of India's population lives in half a million rural villages where water-borne diseases are a major health problem. Despite massive Government outlays for drinking water and sanitation in India, access to safe drinking water & proper sanitation facilities remains a challenge due to lack of community sensitization, infrastructure & sustainability . This partnership between Monsanto & AFPRO helps address these critical community needs as part of Monsanto’s community engagement efforts.

Monsanto partnered with AFPRO to work in 25 villages in 5 districts- Buldanha, Jalna, Aurangabad, Wardha Yavatmal of Maharastra to adopt an address the needs of integrated approach for Water Conservation, Sanitation and Women Empowerment. The project covers creation of new drinking water facilities/ water harvesting structures like borewells, dug ponds, RO units & strengthening existing water distribution system for the communities through connecting pipelines to the existing water sources. The aspect of water quality is addressed through educating the communities on the various chlorination methods. The sanitation needs are addressed through construction of toilets (20 toilets per village) through direct project support & Govt. convergence programs. Community sensitization on discouraging open defecation because of its adverse health impacts also forms an integral part of the project. Another important aspect of the project is women empowerment through skill development/ small- scale business entrepreneurship programs like goat rearing; spice grinding etc. for adding additional incomes to the community households.

Objectives

  • Increasing rural household access to improved & sustainable drinking water sources- RO units; borewells; dugponds etc.
  • Establishing water quality treatment mechanisms through chlorination methods to ensure safe & clean drinking water for the communities
  • Increasing rural household access to improved sanitation facilities by sensitizing the communities & construction of toilets
  • Formation and strengthening of Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and promotion of small scale livelihood opportunities for enhancing the economic conditions of the women
  • Working closely with the local Government for ensuring synergies in water & sanitation projects  under NREGA & other schemes

 

Geography

Jalna, Buldana, Aurangabad, Wardha Yavatmal- Maharashtra 

 

Tenure

June 2013- Sept 2014

Project Interventions

 

Water

  • Creation of new facilities for drinking water & strengthening existing water distribution system including community RO units (6 nos.); laying water pipelines to connect the households with source (10 pipelines); construction of water harvesting structures- community ponds, including desiltation of existing percolation tanks ( 4 nos)
  • Establishing sustainability of the project interventions through institutionalizing community led Operations & Maintenance (O&M) with creation of Village level Water Sanitation Committees-training & awareness events
  • Establishing water quality treatment mechanisms through chlorination methods to ensure safe & clean drinking water for the communities

Sanitation

  • IEC (Information, Education & Communication) activities for sensitizing the communities on sanitation and hygiene in 6 villages (12 events)
  • Construction of Toilets
    • Individual Households- 336 (through direct &  convergence support), 71 underway; school sanitation facilities-1;
    • Plans in place for another 100 individual household toilets & 5 school sanitation facilities

Women Empowerment

  • Formation and strengthening of 25 women SHGs
  • 10 SHG capacity building events organized across 16 villages for promoting small scale businesses- goat rearing, dairy, spice grinding et al. for adding additional incomes to households
  • For sustainability of the interventions, establishing financial linkages with banks for 2 SHGs for goat rearing business; 1 SHG for dairy business

 

Impacts

A.      Beneficiary Household level : Coverage in 25 villages, with 9500 households and approx. 50,000 population

  • Increased access to safe drinking  water – 80% reduction in water borne diseases in 6 RO villages, & 60% reduction in diseases in other villages where pipelines are laid, health camps organized for communities to check health status
  • Improved personal hygiene &  health status with construction of 336 household toilets & 12 sensitization events leading to 75% improvement in the sanitation status of the targeted villages
  • Saving &  economic benefits on water supply, sanitation and health related expenses due to reduced visit to the village medical centres
  • Increased Agriculture productivity due to availability of water due to construction of water harvesting structures    

B. Women

  • Reduced drudgery of women on account of bringing water from remote locations
  • More empowered women leading to better socio economic households- better financial linkages, small scale businesses allowing additional savings leading to spending on improved quality of education & healthcare facilities – 80% women of the targeted 25 villages covered under SHGs trained in dairy, goat rearing spices grinding & other such small scale income generation activites

C. Village Panchayat

  • More empowered & aware village panchayat for scalability & sustainability of the project interventions
  • Better coordination with Government Department for convergence schemes particularly for implementation of water, sanitation schemes
  • Better Management &  regulation of Water Resources
  • Increased ownership by community
  • Improved resource mobilization capacity
  • Better governance through fast and efficient decision making, ensuring transparency, equity &  inclusion