Institution & Capacity Building (ICB) under IWMP

Capacity Building

The aim and objective of Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) is to bring about incremental changes in Agri based production in rainfed areas. Various schemes have been in operation at different points of time which have now been brought under the single umbrella of IWMP. Still out of a total geographical area of 88,75,200 Hectares, about 38,59,000 hectares of rainfed area of West Bengal has yet to be brought under the ambit of Watershed Development Project. The challenge in the rainfed area is to improve rural livelihood and the methodology to be adopted is participatory watershed management.

Watershed is defined as a hydro-geological unit of area from which the rainwater drains through a single outlet. Watershed development refers to the conservation, regeneration and judicious use of all the natural resources (like land, water, plants, animals) by human beings. Watershed Management brings about the best possible balance between natural resources on the one side and human beings on the other. Human beings and the ecology are interdependent. The changes in the environment directly affect the lives of the people depending on it. A watershed provides a natural geo-hydrological unit for planning any developmental initiative.

There has been a realization that to make watershed programmes truly participatory, there is a need to empower people through knowledge. The Technical Committee Report on Watershed Programmes headed by S. Parthasarthy states that more efforts are needed towards capacity building in order to ensure peoples’ participation. There is a need for technical and legal empowerment which is possible through capacity building programs which can communicate in an easily understood language. Common Guidelines for Watershed Development, 2008 by Government of India emphasizes the need for effective capacity building and states that five percent of the total budget for IWMP is to be utilized for capacity building.

On the basis of common guideline SLNA (State Level Nodal Agency) has selected our Organization to impart training to various level stakeholders (from WCDC to SHG) in Coochbihar and North 24 Parganas district. Though North 24 Parganas district authority is not yet ready to start capacity building programme but Balivara OFFER has already initiated the training programme based on the course designed and subsequently approved by SAMITI.