Trichy, 11, February2011: Thottiyapatty villagers living in dry belt region grow mango trees by conjunctive use of water by injectors and get good yield. Thottiyapatty Watershed management implemented by SEVAI, a local NGO in Trichy with the support of FdnF, offers an effective method to intercept dispersed runoff. Water conservation techniques of have been developed along Kallai hill slopes with the intention of preventing soil erosion and reducing surface runoff, then increasing the infiltration in the injection of water directly to the roots. Water directly injected to the roots of the tree, avoiding ground, thus recharging the aquifers.
Thottiyapatty Watershed Development Programme had been initiated to improve and sustain productivity and production potentials of the ecologically, fragile and disadvantaged arid regions through adoption of appropriate production and conservation techniques, as well as meet the needs of Thottiyapatty rural communities for food, fuel, fodder and timber. Unlike traditional approaches to development, where the revenue or administrative boundary is adopted as the unit for development purposes, under Thottiyapatty Watershed Development the watershed is chosen as the appropriate unit area for development. It seeks to improve and develop all types of lands falling within a watershed.
The primary objective of the Thottiyapatty watershed management is to limit the soil erosion and therefore to reduce sediment accumulation in the surface reservoirs downstream, the effect of these practices in Thottiyapatty became significant on the aquifer. In open irrigation to the trees planted, the Evaporation becomes problem water areas are exposed, to high evaporation rates leading to water losses sometimes exceeding 20 percent of the average annual runoff. Losses may be even higher when the width of the impounded tree pits is considerable, and induces a larger open water area. Artificial recharge by injection consists of using a conduit access, such as an injector shaft to convey the water to the aquifer. There has also been greater crop diversification, and an improvement in cropping intensity.
An improvement in fodder and water availability is also significant result. Small and marginal farmers, as well as women have recorded positive benefits in terms of improved incomes, employment, access to resources, skills development, etc. This has led to a greater sense of involvement of the people in watershed development projects. The achievement in Thottiyapatty watershed development project: Poverty reduction for 147 families, Eco-Restoration/improve natural resource base and land and water productivity in Kallai hills regions of 1247 hectares, Improve incomes and returns from marginal lands of 254 farmers , Improve living conditions of rural people of 1863 population, Improve living conditions of weaker sections, disadvantaged groups for the entire 100%,, including women, Improve fodder/fuel availability in 128 acres, Foster community participation,13 self help groups Encourage non-land based economic activities for the poor,42 families, Promote sustainable use and management of natural resources/CPRs in 197 hectares, Improve land/water productivity for 412 hectares, Improve crop yields upto 6 tonnes per acre of rice, Improve all small holder agriculture, Improve socio-economic conditions of 12 disadvantaged groups/women, Improve employment opportunities for 417 women, small farmers and agricultural labourers, 35 opinion leaders both men and women were trained in Human resources development, Cost-benefit sharing by community, Strengthen community participation and Empowerment of the entire women folk in Thottiyapatty.
The significant production of food, generating employment and protection of eco system is possible as the village of Thottiyapatty is made possible by the adoption of conjunctive use of water in the watershed of Thottiyapatty. Thanks to FdnF, villagers of Thottiyapatty and SEVAI NGO, for the joint efforts of taking initiative for the conjunctive use of water as one of components of food production and water and soil conservation.-NNS.