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Environment Action Fund

 

"Restoration and Reclamation of Sabarmati Ravine ecosystem in and around Agalod village, Mehsana."

 

Project area:

Agalod village is located 10 km from Vijapur the taluka headquarter and 50 km. from the district headquarter Mehsana. The total geographical area of Agalod village is 1655.10.81 hectare, out of this about 166 ha. area has been taken up under project. The proposed area falls in North Gujarat region, which is one of the most productive regions of the State in terms of agriculture and allied activities due to its proximity to the Sabarmati River which is draining across the North Gujarat region. The area falls in the GJ-4 agro-climatic region of in the State which is mainly consisting of the major agro-climatic zone "Gujarat Plain & Hills regions". Major area of the region is having 'Well’ drained soil. However, in some area of region especially in central part (Adjoining area of Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar district.) and eastern part of Banaskantha and Western part of Surendranagar district is representing 'Somewhat excessively' drained soil. Few area of southern part of the region (Adjoining area of Ahmedabad and Surendranagar district) and in Western part (Patan district) has 'moderately well' drained soil.

 

Focus areas and objectives of project:

The project focused on advocacy, capacity building and training, environmental education, natural resource/eco-system management and agriculture/allied activities. The major objectives of the project were as follows:

  • To restore and rehabilitate the natural ravine ecosystem of the area adopting sustainable measures.
  • To prevent area from soil erosion, curtail further degradation and conserving soil moisture as well as control expansion of ravines.
  • To ensure sustainable livelihood by reclaiming agricultural, fallow lands etc.
  • To increase fodder and fuel production by silvi pasture development and afforestation programmes, thereby would improve socio-economic condition of the people including landless labourers through livestock and dairy development.
  • To augment ground water through dug wells, tube wells and irrigations tanks to increase area under irrigated farming.
  • To minimize adverse effect of floods on crops and livestock.
 

Implementing partner:

The project has been implemented with a focus to improve the conditions of economically marginalized community and have focussed on bringing gender equity. The village community has undertaken the project has the Implementing Agency, while Gujarat Ecology Commission have provided technical input as well as built the capacity of the community to implement environment project.

 

Background:

Village Agalod is situated on the bank of Sabarmati River and has been prone to soil erosion. The top soil of the area eroded every year, which had significantly decreased the agricultural productivity of the village. In addition to this many farmers had also lost their farms due to soil erosion, which in turn had severely affected the livelihood and the ravine ecosystem of the area. The tree cover within village and its wastelands had also reduced, which prompted loosening of top soil cover in the area. During the last few years there were high rainfall in the region and in the upper areas of river Sabarmati due to which many portion of the catchment area remained submerged and have caused erosion. Therefore, considering the severity of the entire issue and the impact it had on the livelihood of the local community, this project was proposed to Restore and Reclaim Ravine ecosystem within selected area to improve livelihood options, especially of the small and marginal farmers, pastoral community and community at large.

 

Unique approach and methodologies:

Mainly following approach has been used to implement the project:

1. Research & collection of baseline Information: In the first two months the project team studied the root causes of soil erosion, its impact, extent of areas through field survey, social survey [through adopting PRA and other tool] and also by adopting various technological inputs such as studies on geo-hydrology, elevation, gravity etc. In addition to this other baseline information related to the area and project was also collected to understand the problem and design its solution package.

2. Community mobilization: Based on the research, various kinds of IEC materials have been developed, which helped in making people aware about the problems and its root cause. Through proper awareness creation the project team mobilized the local community to become partner in the project implementation. Various tools like FGD, Gram Sabha, Door to door visits, personal visits etc were used to mobilize the community. The Link couple [Husband and wife of the one faliya was selected to mobilize the community. Post the mobilization activities, a Village Level Organization [VLO] were formed to implement the project activities.

3. Preparation of micro plan and its implementation: Once the community mobilization was initiated, the team identified core people of the community who have adequate traditional knowledge of the area. The core people further helped the project team in designing a micro-plan and macro-plan of the project activities, based on which interventions were done to combat soil erosion and thereby to restore the Ravine ecosystem.

4. Implementation of proposed activities: The micro-plan and the interventions were implemented through VLO. The Executive Committee of VLO were responsible for day to day activities and as well as for the financial management of the project.

 

Activities implemented in the project:

Mechanical measures:

  • Field bunding
  • Land levelling
  • Terracing
  • Gully control measures
  • Drainage stabilization treatment in Government, private and panchayat land

Increase of Vegetative Cover:

  • Grass cover on earthen bund
  • Agro forestry
  • Agro horticulture in the fields of beneficiaries in private land
  • Pasture development in gauchar land
  • Afforestation in Government & Private Land
  • Vegetative checks in drainage line
  • Plantation of trees, shrubs grasses on the slope area of the ravine and cover of grasses on the periphery bund of the ravines
  • Water harvesting structures like gully plug, loose bolder structure, earthen plug, masonry structure in drainage line

Natural Resources Management:

  • All Natural resources of the area was identified within village and the project area and accordingly have mapped and have done innovative activities during the project period.
 

Achievements:

In accordance with the objectives, the project has many achievements, which are as follows:

  • Reduced soil erosion within the project area
  • Increased soil fertility and productivity
  • Promotion of sustainable agricultural practices
  • Poverty alleviation among small/marginal farmers and landless communities
  • Increased in water table
  • Increased Rabi cultivation due to ground water recharge and water harvesting works
  • Brought environment balance through adoption of multi-tire canopy cover of grasses, shrubs and trees throughout the project area
 

Financial outlay:

The financial outlay of the project was as follows:

Project Budget

 

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