Pune April 10, 2019: Power management company Eaton today announced the launch of its Watershed Management Program in association with KrushiVaGraminPrashikshanSanstha (KVVGPS) and Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. With the objective of helping drought-affected communities in rural Maharashtra, the program shall implement watersheds in identified areas through stabilization, enhancement and sustainable use of soil and water resources. As part of the program, Eaton will provide funding support to benefit five villages in the district for a period of three years.
Commenting on the program, Nitin Chalke, president, Vehicle and Hydraulics, Asia Pacific, Eaton, said, “Eaton is deeply committed to improving the quality of life and environment. Since 2008, we have been present in Ahmednagarthrough our Vehicle Group’s manufacturing plant and have seen the area facing recurrent droughts due to erratic rainfall. A robust and customized watershed management system is the only sustainable solution to this situation. I am confident that Eaton, in association with its experienced partners – WOTR and KVVGPS, will bring in a tangible and sustainable change and make the communities stronger.”
The program will provide the beneficiaries with measures and techniques in rain-water conservation, water availability and its judicious use, agriculture and animal rearing. The support will include training farmers on sustainable agriculture practices and providing them with market linkages by forming Farmers Produce Organizations. The program also aims at strengthening self-help groups in the villages, which shall further contribute to the sustainability of the program.
Bhushan Gokhale, Eaton’s head of Legal and Public Affairs in India, Eaton remarked, “Eaton is excited by the tremendous opportunity this program holds in terms of increased water availability for drinking as well as irrigation for the vast populations in the targeted areas. It can also escalate the crop production – moving from single to double, and thus provide a thrust to local employment opportunities and potentially raise household incomes of the farmers.”
This program is being implemented at the Rahuri block of Ahmednagarcomprising of –Varshinde, Wabalwadi, and Kolyachiwadivillages in partnership with KVVGPS. Whereas, the villages of Bhokardara and KondibachiThakarwadi in the ParnerTaluka are being supported in partnership with WOTR.
AmitNapahade, CEO, KVVGPSsays, “A significant element of this intervention is about the distinct focus on technology to promote diversification and strengthening of livelihoods. The beneficiaries are being provided with technical skills, know-how and the means to increase the water harvesting potential of their villages. Our primary focus is on creating a paradigm and behavioral shift in the target population in terms of efficiency and economy in water usage, where communities understand the value of water and proactively adopt water-saving measures. Enhancing farm production by promoting the adoption of appropriate agricultural technology is another critical aspect.”
Crispino Lobo, Managing Trustee, and Co-Founder, WOTRmentioned, “We aim to ignite the spark of hope and confidence in these drought-affected villages by catalyzing their creativity and potential for self-help. We will facilitate them to implement watershed measures – soil and water conservation works – so that every drop of rainwater that falls is harvested. We will introduce them to new ways of using this water efficiently so that they get ‘more crop per drop’; improve the quality of their farmlands; help them adopt agricultural practices that improve yields in nature friendly manner and provide them crop-weather advisories to reduce weather-related risks. Empowering women is an important component of the project. The expected outcome of this project will be increased water availability for drinking and agriculture, increased farm incomes, improved food and nutrition security and a better quality of life than at present.”
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