Regular inundation and erosion from the flow of drains are leaving the embankments of the river Mahi deeply ravined. This is a major cause for ecological concern impacting livelihoods in the rural areas. Ravines not only impact the provisioning of ecosystem goods and services such as food, fuel wood, fibre and water regulation, but are also responsible for the loss of arable land which in turn threatens the livelihoods of the poorest farmers with marginal landholdings.
In the given context, the introduction of the (Mahatma Gandhi) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MG-NREGA) has opened a new arena of opportunity for local communities to restore degraded ravine lands with the dual incentive of income generation and farmland protection that facilitates sustainable livelihoods.
This project seeks to reach out to 108 Panchayats along the bank of Mahi River, offering assistance in utilising the opportunities extended by the MG-NREGA for ravine reclamation through improved vegetative cover supported by appropriate soil and water conservation measures. The project aims to strengthen Panchayats to improve the governance of natural resources, and enhance collective action.
While, FES is already recognised as a ‘Project Facilitating Agency’ for ravine reclamation works in the villages of Anand district, efforts to are underway to extend activities to villages in the districts of Kheda, Vadodara and Panchmahals in the Mahi basin.