Samerth is a non-profit organization, founded in 1992, that works towards development of a humane, sustainable and equitable society. The focus is on improving the conditions of marginalized communities and to that extent Samerth helps vulnerable communities to gain access to their social and economic rights and their programs are developed as per the requirement of the respective communities.
A safe and sustainable water supply, basic sanitation, and good hygiene are fundamental for a healthy, productive, and dignified life. And yet, many of India’s poor rural people lack access to an improved water supply and improved sanitation facilities. Samerth Charitable Trust, has been working on these issues in the Kutch District of Gujarat and Kabirdham District of Chhattisgarh, which are characterized as most arid and drought-prone regions of India.
IDRF Partner Since: 2009
Location:Gujarat and Chhattisgarh
Project Title:Water Harvesting/Security in Gujarat, Water Security & Ground Water Management in Chhattisgarh.
Water Harvesting Project in Rapar, Kutch District, Gujarat:
Water harvesting is the technique through which rainwater is captured from the roof and stored for use later. Harvested rainwater can be stored in sub-surface groundwater reservoirs or in storage tanks in semi-arid or drought-prone areas for soil and water conservation. IDRF has partnered with Samerth in Rain Water Harvesting in order to provide safe and sustainable water resources for the poor and marginalized communities in 97 villages of Rapar block, (Dist. Kutch) Gujarat.
This area is perennially water scarce and depends heavily on water bodies that are refilled each year by undependable monsoons. The environmental conditions are extreme, and due to the scarcity of water, no industry or enterprise has flourished here. The region has rain-fed agriculture that is the backbone of the economy. The communities mainly belong to the poor and backward class, with very limited resources available to them. Due to lack of rainfall, an array of problems like poor health, decreased livelihoods due to agricultural unproductivity and insufficient water for the livestock forces several poor families to migrate for 6 to 8 months each year with their belongings and cattle.
Samerth has prepared a complete Water Security Plan and a comprehensive report by visiting all 97 villages of Rapar block and shared the information with local authorities. Samerth has constructed total 37 check dams and 12 dug wells in the area. This has led to a considerable decrease in the number of people and cattle migrating from village to village in search of water and employment. The availability of water has changed their sowing patterns in agriculture and also changed animal husbandry conditions, which has not only improved their financial condition, but also improved their sanitation habits. It has also reduced the drudgery of women who use to walk more than 5 km to fetch water for their families and resulting in an improvement in their health conditions. A decrease in migration has also decreased the drop-out ratio of children from schools.
So far a population of 52,908 in 20% of the villages has benefitted by this project. Samerth has identified the locations for the construction of 6 Earthen Check Dams and 3 Dug wells in near future. This will benefit over 15,000 households comprising of 90,000 people and 57,000 cattle. The current phase of the project started in July 2016 and will end in June 2018.
Click here to watch the success of water harvesting program in Rapar.
Water Harvesting Program: Nakhatrana Block, Kutch District, Gujarat:
IDRF and Samerth have also been greatly successful in developing Water Harvesting Structurers in the villages of Nakhatrana block, District Kutch. READ MORE….
Drinking Water Harvesting and Security in Bodla and Pandariya blocks of Kabirdham District, Chhattisgarh:
With the success of water harvesting project in Gujarat, IDRF has expanded the program to the most impoverished and backward hilly areas of Chhattisgarh, where rainfall is inadequate & erratic. Local tribes are often excluded from infrastructural and government services. People are not able to use water as per their requirements and needs. Scarcity and poor quality of drinking water force women to walk daily for 2-4 kms to fetch drinking water. Gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses, especially among the children, have been a widespread health problem here.
The problem in this region is not only the absence of water, but also the poor quality that hinders life and livelihoods.
Absence of water has also lead to a reduction in agriculture which has increased malnutrition cases and infant and maternal mortality rates. IDRF and Samerth are constructing rain roof-water structures, earthen check-dams and water tanks to harvest rainwater and conserve existing spring water. Rain Roof Water Harvesting structures are cost-effective, easy to construct, operate and maintain.
The youth in these villages are being trained as Jaldoots on principles of participatory ground water management. Villagers are being made aware about the causes of water contamination and efficient ways to store it. This program will create water secured villages and address safe drinking water related issues for 1,021 tribal families.
Please click on the links to learn more about Samerth’s Water Harvesting programs in Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.