Watershed Development in Jharkhand
Villagers of Hirapur, Nipaniya and Laxmipur in Dumka, Pakur, Koderma districts are fighting water scarcity by developing their watershed through a variety of techniques.
There has been massive deforestation (4890 Ha of tree cover loss from 2001 to 2017) in Jharkhand over the last 2 decades. Without tree cover, the topsoil becomes vulnerable to erosion, which in turn increases run off of the rain water leading to depleted groundwater reserves. In 2018, AID initiated a watershed development program along with its grassroots partners in these regions of Jharkhand. The organizations are Mohammed Bazar Backward Classes Development Society in Dumka, Jharkhand Vikas Parishad in Pakur and Saver Foundation in Koderma. With some technical help in planning, communities in these villages have been building check dams, desilting existing ones, excavating farm ponds and planting trees. In some villages, the small streams are rejuvenating themselves. In Hirapur, a desilted checkdam was able to capture water that helped the villagers to save their crop in the drier months.
Watershed development increases the food and water security of communities and mitigates climate change by capturing carbon in the vegetation and soil.
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