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close this bookCase Studies of People's Participation in Watershed Management in Asia (PWMTA, 1996)
close this folderA case study of people's participation in Begnastal and Rupatal (BTRT) watershed management in Nepal
close this folderResult and discussions
close this folderInfluences of the BTRT project on people's participation
View the documentCommunity development and organization
View the documentCommunity development board
View the documentLocal club

Community development and organization

The BTRT project's strategy to ensure people's participation is based on community development, which is the process of encouraging local people to apply their initiative and energy to increase production and develop sustainable watershed management practices. The objective of community development is to help people find ways to organize self-help programs, and to provide techniques for ensuring cooperative action in developing and carrying out the programs.

By 1990, there were many overlapping users' groups in the BTRT area that the coordination of activities was becoming cumbersome and inefficient. Moreover, the local political bodies i.e. the village panchyats, were abolished in April 1990 while VDC representatives did not assume office till May 1992. During this transitional period, BTRT project introduced the concept of a community as a natural socio-ecological unit not defined by a village panchayat or ward boundary. A CDCC (Community Development Conservation Committee) was created for each natural community unit. The CDCC approach sensibilized people to their multiple needs and to their community's ability to meet them, and take responsibility for the same.

Each CDCC comprises of a single homogenous village and represents all households of that village. A ward may have one or more CDCCs depending on the number of separate villages in the ward. By April 1994, the BTRT Project had formed 100 CDDCs in order to link the project and the local users. The CDCCs are mainly responsible for identifying activities, forming users' group committees and resolving conflicts. They are the village counterparts of the project.

The CDCCs in Rakhi and Hansapur VDCs have drafted constitutions for their committees. The CDCCs in the village Deumadi Kalika, and Bastologoan in Majthana VDC are in the process of registering themselves with the District Administration Office. Handikhola CDCC is registered as an NGO after assessing its institutional capabilities.

The project has targeted homogenous and heterogeneous groups, women, teachers, local leaders, farmers, occupational castes and minority groups. This is done through field demonstrations, meetings, study tours and informal contacts. This is aimed at creating awareness about the problems of soil erosion, about conservation, environment-friendly development, and about the importance of every body's involvement. This focus is reflected in the composition of CDCCs. Among the 100 CDCCs formed, there are 27 women CDCCs, and nine CDCCs belong to occupational caste and minority groups. In Lekhnath VDC, there are only four CDCCs, out of which three are women CDCCs.

Every member of a community contributes NRs. 1-10/month to the CDCC fund. The money is deposited in the CDCC's own account at the Agricultural Development Bank.

In addition to the membership fees, some CDCCs have installed kinehouse (a place to keep stray animals), collect fines from livestock owners whose livestock damage the crops/plants of other villagers. Other sources of income are subsidies from the project, donations from visitors and money generated by mobilizing internal resources. The active CDCCs are highly organized and conduct regular meetings, keeps good records, and raise funds on their own. As of December 1994, the 100 CDCCs represented 3,630 households in the BTRT area and had a total savings of NRs. 648,926. There are as many as 27 CDCCs in Hanspur, but only 4 CDCCs are in Lekhnath VDC. The four CDCCs have more man NRs. 30,000 in savings. In fact, the Mohariya Gurung Goan CDCC has NRs. 41,139 in its account.