|Case Studies of People's Participation in Watershed Management in Asia (PWMTA, 1996)|
|A case study of people's participation in Begnastal and Rupatal (BTRT) watershed management in Nepal|
|Result and discussions|
|Activities of the Begnastal Rupatal watershed management project|
SCWM activities are broadly grouped as engineering, forestry and agriculture activities. People within the watershed are also considered as human resources. Communities are organized to encourage people's participation in SCWM activities.
The movement for democracy in the beginning of 1990 resulted in the restoration of the multiparty system. Village and district level political bodies (Panchyats) were dismantled and the Decentralization Act became ineffective. During this period the BTRT Project worked out a model of community organization suitable for analysing problems and planning, implementing, maintaining and following-up on project activities.
Since a village community shares common natural resources and since community participation is effective in managing these resources, and for solving common soil erosion problems; the concept of community development was fostered in each village. Project staff formed a Community Development Committee, which later was named as Community Development Conservation Committee (CDCC), in every village.
The project, with the help of CDCC members, surveyed and analyzed the problems of the community. In particular, a multi-disciplinary team utilized Rapid Rural Appraisal/Participatory Rural Appraisal (RRA/PRA) for problem analysis. A list of activities was prepared and a plan for cost sharing was suggested. Community commitment was also assessed during discussions.
The project prioritized the activities in accordance with the resources available to it and depending on the seriousness of the problems. The concerned CDCC was informed of the activities and their implementation schedule. The project also requested the CDCC to form UGs to implement the selected activities. Once the CDCC formed a UG and forwarded a list of its members to the project office through the VDCs, the UG with the help of project technicians prepared detailed cost estimates and terms of implementation. The Chairmen and Secretaries of the UGs signed agreements with me project.
All the villagers within a community are members of the CDCC and the UG is the executive body of the CDCC. Depending upon the size of the village, a UG has 7-11 members. Significant difference between the UGs of the first phase and the second phase is that the leaders in the first phase UGs were local politicians and not the users.
The project provided material support and the cost of skilled labor. On the other hand, the community was responsible for mobilizing resources such as sand, stone, and unskilled labor. Forestry activities were implemented by users themselves, although the project provided seedlings. For some agricultural activities on private lands users had to buy seedlings, although the project subsidized transportation and provided training. In the second phase, the project gradually reduced its subsidy.
The project regularly monitored and supervised construction to ensure quality in implementation. It was experienced that the sincere and active participants were happy to receive whatever money they got and to share it equally among themselves (Subba 1991). Once the project staff discussed as to why the participation of local people could not be limited to physical labor only, the people began to maintain completed works by utilizing a community fund generated by the CDCC.