Watershed Management & Conservation
Typical of rural Rajasthan, access to water is the most immediate need in tribal regions. Rainfall is relatively low and highly erratic, available for only 45 days of the year. During this rainy season, water flows down heavily to plain areas from the surrounding hills, often washing away valuable land and crops in its path. GMKS is engaged in large-scale land and water restoration in Kotra block in collaboration with local tribal communities. Elements of this programme include water harvesting structures, drains, lift irrigation, check dams, gully plugs, and community wells. These measures along with intentional soil conservation techniques increased the average groundwater level by 1½ – 2 feet in each targeted village. The participatory values prioritized in all GMKS programmes ensure that the majority of these projects are planned, implemented, and managed through community organizations.
Because the area of South Rajasthan in which GMKS operatues is mostly forest, there is a constant need for maintaining and protecting it. Local initiatives involve creating awareness in eco-friendly pasture development, planting and growing of fruit trees, and protection of existing forest area.
Land and Soil Health
Quality and health of soil is an essential consideration in tribal villages where agriculture is both sustenance and livelihood. GMKS works actively in promoting soil conservation practices as well as facilitating training on soil fertility and composting methods.
People’s access to water is the biggest problem in this tribal region. The rainfall in the region is relatively low and highly erratic. The rainwater is available only for 45 days in the whole year.And rest of the months in the year remains dry. During rainy days, the water flows down heavily to plain areas from these hills. Sometimes, the intensity of the water remains so high that washes
away lands and crops of the region destroying valuable properties and other close belongings.Gandhi Manav Kalyan Society started its interventions in most of the villages in the blocks. The organization is
engaged into a large-scale land and water restoration works in Kotra block by involving local tribal communities to plan, implement and manage their own development programmes. Most of the programmes were actually managed through community and village organizations.
Under this Water Resource Management and Development programme, the organization helps the people to construct water harvesting structures, loose stone check dams, gully plucks and community wells. Acres of lands are undertaken for soil conservation. The soil and water conservation works in the villages has immensely helped to raise the level of ground water of the wells up to 6 to 8 feet.
Under this programme, GMKS has so far constructed 27 water harvesting structures, 650 loose stone check dams and 1300 gully plucks in the villages. In an average the level of ground water has increased by 1½-2 feet in each and every well constructed in the villages