Ukhrul: Community-Based Sustainable Forest Management for Water Resources Conservation in Manipur (COSFOM)-Project Manipur under CF & WCS (Community Forestry & Water Conservation Society-Manipur) conducted an inspection and interaction program with Water Resource conservation Group (WRCG) and Self help Groups (SHG) at the community halls of Choithar and Shirui villages consecutively as KfW Review Mission on Saturday.
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) is one of the world’s leading promotional banks which focuses on improving economic, social and environmental living conditions across the globe on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany and the federal states since 1948 (www.kfw.de).
During the interaction, WRCG from the villages presented reports on the progress of their work and also highlighted grievances in their work processes.
One of the primary grievances, expressed in the interaction is the untimely release of fund from the state government. The delay in sanction of funds which has already lasted approximately two years, is reportedly said to be because of the pandemic.
WRCG project first started in 2018-19 at Ukhrul District with Choithar and Shirui as the pilot project villages. Despite the delay in release of fund, project in Shirui village is observed to be progressing steadily. Two water reservoirs of 15,000 liters were constructed in Shirui village, serving adequate amount of water to the villagers. The village has requested for another reservoir tank, as the need to have water reservoir in every locality in the village is felt.
Selma Hongray, Chairman of Shirui village, presented reports on the work progress of the WRCG. “A lot of projects have been executed in the past, but the German project has helped in sustaining the work and it has been a success”, said Selma. He further said that through this project, they have seen tremendous increase in tree plantation.
Selma also added that the NGO appointed for their village to monitor and assist the work has not been able to perform their duty regularly as they are stationed in different districts. “I would like to request to consider and appoint NGO from our place or district, so they could be there in every process of the work”, he added.
NGOs like VEDAS, CAPARV and PARDA are assisting and monitoring the projects across 25 Tangkhul villages.
The Self Help Groups (SHG) is solely run by women. There are eight active SHGs in Choithar village, out of which four are newly formed. The SHGs collect small amount of money from each members monthly as their savings. They in turn invest the savings in rearing chicken, plant crops, such as potatoes, tend vegetable garden, produce local fruit juice, piggery and more to generate their income. The SHGs were sanction funds not more than Rs 40,000 depending on the plan they choosed.
There are 6 SHGs in Shirui Village. The SHGs has a federation wherein they conduct meeting monthly and yearly. Each member contribute a small amount of Rs 5-10, each month as their savings. This way they support and help each other in the group. They organize sanitation program twice a year and also produce bakery items, indigenous sticky rice bread, buy and resell food, such as fermented fish and also invest their savings in piggery and chicken rearing. The SHGs expressed their gratitude for the projects, refer to as “German Project”. Choithar villagers call it a Indo-German project. “The project has, so far, helped us in sustaining our work and we would also like to request for your continuous support in the future”, said the Chairman of the SHG federation.
A visit at Entry Point Activity (EPA), Nursery and Aided Natural Regeneration (ANR) at Choithar and Shirui villages was conducted .
Topics related to forest fire was also discussed in the interaction session. Selma Hongray highlighted the participants about TNL and village authority guidelines on preventive measures on forest fire. Shanngam S, DFO Ukhrul explained the technical measures on controlling forest fire as he emphasised, curbing and monitoring people responsible for forest fire. He also shared the new guidelines on prevention of forest fire, which include, inspection of areas during dry season, extinguishing forest fire on reports of fire incident, installation of signboards in green and red paint at strategic entry point among others.
Jan Eric Voss, Project manager; Jonas Muller, Portfolio Manager, Natural Resources and Climate Asia; Sangeeta Aggarwal, Senior Sector Specialist, KfW Office New Delhi; Lydia Prymachenko, Procurement Expert; Manohar Shreshtha, CTA, GFA; K Hrishikesh Singh, ACTA, GFA; Th Lokendro singh, AO/DFO-Thoubal; Shanngam S, DFO Ukhrul; S Ruhi Kumar, FMCA, GFA conducted the inspection and interaction with the villagers. The Village Headman/Chairman, WRCG representative, various SHG representatives and NGOs attended the program.
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