7. Formation of MACS for post-project sustainability:
Formation of Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies for Post-Project Sustainable Management of Livelihood Funds as well as Watershed Assets.
Process of operationalizing Watershed Development under NABARD guidelines:
The watershed development is takenup in two phases – i) Capacity Building Phase (CBP) and ii) Full Implementation Phase (FIP).
Capacity Building Phase (CBP):
In the CBP the people of the watershed village are prepared for undertaking watershed development programme through “learning by doing” approach Awareness on watershed development was created by village campaigns, Gram Sabhas, formal and informal meetings, PRA exercises; and actual implementation of watershed development activities in 100 ha. area at the ridge portion in the first one year. All appropriate watershed development activities would be planned in the 100 ha. of land and implemented in a participatory approach including mobilization of the mandatory “Shramadan” by the Village community.
Full Implementation Phase (FIP):
After satisfactory completion of the CBP for one year the programme moves to the FIP. When the FIP begins a Grama Sabha would be conducted by P.F.A. to select on consensus 13 to 15 members from among villagers to form a Village Watershed Development Committee (VWDC). The VWDC should have equittable representation for SC & ST communities, small & marginal farmers, landless poor, women, and other weaker sections. The FIP begins with a tripartite MOU between Village Watershed Development Committee, PFA and NABARD. Participatory net planning is then carried out to prepare a 4 year Detailed Project Report. The DPR would be implemented by the VWDC together with PFA in a transparent and participatory process. The progress would be regularly monitored by a third party organization i.e., Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) besides NABARD.
Roles & Responsibilities of Village Watershed Development Committee (VWDC):
- The committee is headed by the Chair Person elected by the VWDC from among the committee members.
- Chair Person is a joint signatory of cheques, along with one team member of P.F.A, to draw funds for implementation of watershed activities.
- The VWDC acts as Project Implementing Agency (PIA) of the watershed.
- The VWDC meets once in 15 days or as and when necessary to discuss, decide and pass resolutions, make payment for works and to review the progress on regular basis.
- The VWDC with the assistance of PFA, selects 3 watershed supervisors from among educated unemployed active youth from the village in order to oversee the watershed project implementation including livelihood activities.
- The VWDC is responsible for selecting the eligible beneficiaries, under livelihood programme,who are the poor and who can take up income generating activities. The selection process is done with utmost transparency.
- The VWDC members are divided into subgroups assigned responsibilities to monitor implementation of various watershed activities.
- The VWDC undertakes field visits to check the quality and quantity of works.
- The VWDC is responsible for making payment for works in a transparent manner through appropriate resolutions.
Role of Watershed Supervisors:
1. Three supervisors employed by VWDC are to undertake supervision of works being executed within the watershed village.
2. The 3 Supervisors responsibilities are divided to supervise the works are as follows:
- Drainage line treatment
- Area treatment, and
- Livelihood activities
3. The supervisors also assist the technical team of PFA, in procurement of labour, materials and measurement of works and ensure quality.
4. They are paid on the basis of their physical and financial performance
5. Regular trainings are imparted to supervisors by the PFA in order to build their capacity in implementation of watershed activities.
AF Watershed Development Team:
AF has vast experience of over 30 years in participatory watershed development. It has sufficient number of human resources who are committed, trained and experienced in technical aspects and in community organisation. They are well trained in all aspects of watershed development activities and in combining the farmers indigenous knowledge with watershed science. The team is also well trained in enabling peoples participation, consensus decision making, conflict resolution, developing village leadership and community based institutional development.
Facilitating Convergence and Synergy:
AF also facilitated the convergence and synergy of programmes at Village level with other agencies like RDT, DWMA (MGNREGS) Dept., of Agriculture, Micro Irrigation Project etc. Examples are: drip irrigation and solar pump sets are provided by RDT to the dry land horticulture farmers in the watershed villages. Dry land Horticulture programme of MGNREGP is mobilized for farmers in watershed villages.
The actual implementation of all planned watershed activities was over by 31.12.2015. By the end of final year(2015-16) the VWDC promoted a village level Mutually Aided Cooperative Society (MACS) to ensure post-program sustainability following the legal and administrative procedures as per the MACS Act. This arrangement ensured peoples ownership and responsibility for effective post-project sustainable management.
Accordingly MACS have been registered in all the 6 project villages and three MACS viz., Battuvanipalli,Garudapuram and Mallipalli are in operation with some facilitation by PFA. The other 3 villages are still to operationalize MACS, though registered.
Watershed Development Fund (WDF):
The beneficiaries of the watershed activities contribute certain amount as beneficiary contribution in cash to a fund at village level called Watershed Development Fund (WDF). This WDF is also managed by the MACS for the post-project sustainability i.e., the proper and timely maintenance of the watershed assets created under the program. The livelihood amount released by NABARD was also managed by the MACS which is utilized as revolving fund on sustainable basis for enhancing livelihoods of the poor.
Watershed Projects completed by December 2015
Six watershed development projects were implemented successfully by Accion Fraterna as PFA. The projects were closed by Dec’2015 after completion of project period. The Project Completion Reports(PCRs) were submitted to PMU(Project Management Unit), NABARD.