|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|
|Consequences of the BTRT project|
In order to ensure participation of all sections of the community and that they benefit from the project, the project aimed to increase the involvement of women, occupational castes, and minorities groups in sustainable management of human and natural resources of the area.
Since the main drive behind forming committees, was the villagers' need of forest products and since collecting fodder and fuelwood is largely women's tasks, local women were very active in forest management and therefore they were fully involved in the decision making process. The major factors facilitating women's participation in the committees were: clear prospect of benefit sharing, support from family leaders, and the small size of the community. Because women were encouraged to be active members, their participation in CDCCs was excellent, and in fact they formed 27 exclusive women's groups with a total of 750 members.
The project also aimed to increase the involvement of occupational castes such as blacksmiths, tailors, shoe makers, and other minority groups of the community.
The involvement of these occupational caste in the project activities was also encouraging. There are now eight exclusive CDCCs of occupational castes and one CDCC is exclusively Islamic.
The high incidence of women's participation in SCWM activities was a result of the following facts:
- village women trust the seven project-hired female motivators (one in each VDC), who in turn were dedicated to their work.
- project extension officer was a women and most villagers support her strongly.
- male population was away to India for casual work and women had to assume leadership roles.
- men were not against leadership of women.
- project extension services highly motivated local women.
- project activities such as drinking water and irrigation systems, and forest management were popular among women users.
- training provided by the project helped village women.
During 1990-94, about 300 women were trained in different fields such as forest management (66 women), citrus management, improved cooking stoves, beekeeping, and CDCC management (150 women). In addition, 200 women attended literacy classes.