IDRF encourages and invites all our donors, volunteers and the curious minded to visit any of our program sites in India, Nepal or Sri Lanka for a truly enriching experience!
Mohinder Gulati visits Samerth’s Water Security Program Locations in Gujarat
IDRF has been supporting Samerth’s Water Security project since 2014. In 2018, Mr. Gulati visited the NGO’s office in Ahmedabad and project sites in Rapar. Ms Gazala Paul and Mr Ashish Mehta from Samerth accompanied him on the site visit.
The arid areas of Kutch district receive scanty rainfall and have high salinity in the soils. This limits the availability of the groundwater to very shallow part of aquifers, thus, offering very limited opportunities for livelihood and drinking water for sustaining the poor tribal population. Samerth has done a commendable job in leveraging funds from donor and government sources, and technical support from partner NGOs, in restoring and developing water infrastructure and also creating capacity in the local communities for long-term sustainability. Samerth has been able to tap into funds from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board, MLA funds, and partners including IDRF. IDRF is funding three types of infrastructure (a) earthen check dams to restore and augment village ponds, (b) restoration and creation of dug wells, and (c) rooftop rainwater harvesting. The first two are community owned and managed while the third is individual household owned infrastructure. IDRF funded program includes more than 40 check dams and 15 dug wells.
In the villages that Mr. Gulati visited, he saw few check dams and village ponds restored with IDRF funding. He also saw several dug wells that have been rehabilitated or new wells dug. Due to lack of water, several communities used to migrate for about eight months a year herding livestock into greener pastures in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Government also could not provide education and healthcare facilities for these migrant communities.
Mr. Gulati was highly impressed with how the trained “Jaldoots” (water volunteers) conduct resource assessments, engage the community in water budgeting and management, and also help them access their rights-based entitlements and government schemes.