New Projects launched in India to make Communities resilient against Drought, Fire, Flood and Japanese Encephalitis

Altogether, more than 11,000 people will directly benefit from two Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) initiatives. To address the vulnerabilities of local communities in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra AWO International launched two projects with its long term partners Manav Seva Sansthan (MSS) and Action for Agriculture Renwal in Maharashtra (AFARM).

Various records show that 120 farmers have killed themselves in the state of Maharashtra due to recurring drought situations and erratic weather patterns in 2014 where as Uttar Pradesh (UP) has been hit by various disasters such as floods, fires and epidemics causing severe damage to life and property of people every year. As marginalized and poor people are the most vulnerable groups in disaster situations both projects focus on these target groups.

The cooperation project with MSS applies an integrated Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) approach focusing  on 4 key aspects that are all contributing to build community resilience in Maharajgunj District  of Uttar Pradesh: Increasing the understanding of DRR issues through awareness raising activities,  strengthening communities for preparedness and response through planning, skill development and enabling lifesaving equipment for effective response, and lastly, multi-stakeholder networking to prioritize preparedness and response.

In the drought prone area of Beed district in Maharashtra a Climate Change Adaptation approach focuses on building community resilience by proper soil and water conservation, capacitating communities for CCA through local plans of adaptation, implementation of agriculture training & extension programs with due emphasis on on-field demonstrations and pilot constructions for the promotion of sustainable farming systems focusing on organic and “Low External Inputs Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) techniques. Communities are also linked to government stakeholders and capacitated to converge government schemes through advocacy initiatives.

With financial support from Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH) both DRR projects will be implemented in 56 villages for a time period of 18-month. The cooperation project with MSS started on 1st December 2014 and targets 2041 vulnerable households (9,500 people), particularly of the Musahar community in Uttar Pradesh. The cooperation project with AFARM was launched on 1st January 2015 and will target 250 vulnerable households (1530 people), most of them are belonging to nomadic tribes of and need to seasonally migrate to ensure their livelihood. The AFARM project implements a network approach and will disseminate good practices in various parts of Maharastra.

Both projects will apply a social structure approach and utilize synergies with the BMZ funded cooperation projects of AWO International, for example by using or linking existing social structures and networks such as capacitated multipliers.

AWO International is also implementing a DRR project for vulnerable communities in the cyclone “Aila” affected areas of Bangladesh.

Discussions with communities during participatory project development

Briefing of project staffs for implementation of new DRR project

The project in Maharastra is vulnerable to droughts as located in the rain shadow of a mountain range

During monsoon Uttar Pradesh is regularly hit by floods

Japan Encephalities and water borne diseases after floods are serious threats for life