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):

  1. The committee is headed by the Chair Person elected by the VWDC from among the committee members.
  2. 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.
  3. The  VWDC  acts as Project  Implementing  Agency (PIA) of the watershed.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The VWDC  members are  divided  into subgroups assigned responsibilities to monitor  implementation of various watershed activities.
  8. The  VWDC    undertakes field  visits  to check the quality and quantity  of works.
  9. 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:

  1. Drainage line treatment
  2. Area  treatment, and
  3. 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.

Post-Project Sustainability:

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.