The two blocks of Jhadol and Gogunda in the Udaipur district of Rjasthan fall under the catchment of the river Sabarmati, and three of its major tributaries - Mansi, Wakal and Sei. Tribal communities make up about 90 per cent of the population here. The degradation of natural resources in the region has largely been in the form of loss of valuable species from the forests; land degradation; perennial rivers turning into seasonal rivers; and depletion of the water table in the region. The ignoring of traditional use regimes pertaining to forests and grazing lands in particular, by the administrative domains that were drawn much later, has given rise to a new set of complexities that the local communities find difficult to adapt to and which often results in an indifference towards sound management, further exploitation of resources and disregard of the concerns of adjacent habitations.
This watershed programme aims at establishing a process of conservation and management of natural resources, while constantly innovating area-specific methods for improving farming practices and propelling livelihood opportunities toward better income generation for the tribal populations. Interventions toward greater stability of natural surroundings are seen as a causal effect for more specific objectives such as increasing water availability, improving agricultural productivity, enhancing rural livelihoods and strengthening institutional arrangements. Efforts of FES are directed towards building and strengthening the institutional processes at the habitation, village, Panchayat and federation levels to set in place processes of local self governance. Special focus is on enhancing the participation of community members, especially the poor and marginalised, in the planning and implementation of watershed development work in the region.
The project is supported by NABARD under the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP). The IGWDP is an integrated programme for rehabilitation of watersheds for the regeneration of natural resources. The programme is implemented by the Village Watershed Committees (VWC- a body nominated by villagers), in association with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)