BRSP’s successful completion of the project titled “Social Cohesion and Stabilization through sustainable water management in the refugee hosting area of district Killa Abdullah. The project was initiated on 1st August, 2014 and ended on 31st October, 2015 for total 15 months period. It was implemented in two union councils Purana Chaman and Khairabad 1 in district Killa Abdullah and benefitted 50094 populations.
The main objective of the project was “To improve livelihoods, rehabilitate environment and enhance social cohesion within communities of refugee hosting areas” the project successfully achieved its set milestones under BRSP core philosophy of community three tier social mobilization. The project effectively addressed the dire issue of water resource management at local level and emerged as demonstrative model project on sustainable water resource management in such highly arid and hyper-arid region of Balochistan, which was further exacerbated by climate change impacts mainly drought stricken and blatantly mismanaged the water resource by local and Afghan communities influx.
BRSP involved professional watershed consultant in the project for survey, designing and provision of technical support along with geologist to support the team in appropriately detecting the water points or water aquifers in the target union councils. BRSP carried out community mobilization process and fostered 271 community organizations (COs) including (190 male COs, 48 female COs, federated in to 31 village originations and then federated into 2 local support organizations (LSOs). These community institutions followed by capacity building interventions such as 24 community management skills training (CMST), 4 Leadership Management Training (LMST), 01 training for community resource Persons (CRPs), 5 gender sensitization trainings, 01 training on Village Development Plan/Union Council Development Plan (VDP/UCDP) planning,
01 training on community participatory development and 01 training on Disaster Risk Reduction were organized. BRSP also arranged 3 manager conferences, 2 LSO conventions, 3 exposure visits inter province and intra province for community, line department and BRSP district team. Furthermore, 25 youth recreational activities were also part of the capacity building interventions whereas, total 4864 male and 3434 females benefited from capacity building interventions under project result one.
As far as watershed physical activities is concerned under project result two , total five target Karezes were rehabilitated in terms of extension of Karez tunnels, shafts and laid pipelines. Total 2308 feet extension work completed in tunnels and 2800 rft pipeline was placed, 8000 wild plants planted over 200 acre land around Landai Karez, 5 washing pads constructed, 5 animals troughs constructed, 31 check dams constructed, 2 water ponds de-silted, 4 hand pumps were installed, 15 Poly Tunnels were installed and high efficient irrigation system has been in placed on one acre land around Karezes and constructed flood protection wall. These watershed physical activities were supplemented by Operation and maintenance trainings, Poly Tunnels operation and management training and Poly Tunnel Enterprise development training were organized, that has further strengthened physical infrastructure activities. Against the watershed physical activities total 58536 people are being benefited from union council Purana Chaman and Khairabad 01.
Watershed management system has been first time carried out in effective way in District Killa Abdullah, where watershed resources mainly water, land and vegetation were damaged to great extent due to climate change impacts, particularly attributed to human activities. GIZ-RAHA project has already brought some intermediate results at the end of project completion which are the following:
Community organization: Since district Killa Abdullah closely boredrs with Afghanistan, the target community was well known for local, political, tribal and family rifts and and conflicts and people reluctant to sit with one another and conflicts were on the rise. The rigorous social mobilization has built the connection among the people, resolved long standing household level enmities, brought opposite political actors to one table and paved the way for stabilization and political tolerance through livelihood initiatives. The project helped in collective willingness, thinking and working in in partnership
collectively for common cause and development in the target villages through formed community institutions. This is ultimately contributed to social cohesion of refugee hosting area communities through formed 271 community institutions. The formed community institutions has removed the fear of social interaction between meeting of local and refugees, further led both the communities towards building trust.
Increase in Water: Five Karezes (Murda, Garang, Landai, Pado 1 and Pado 2) water quantity/flow at daylight point was 1200 LPH earlier cumulatively, now after Karezes extension of 2308 ft and placement of 2800 rft pipeline has increased water discharge flow is 1.75 which is 34.59% , and decreased water loses and water contamination has been stopped. Now, male, women and children fetch clean drinking water at Karez daylight points. Initial land area under cultivation was 72 acres now land under cultivation is 117.7 after Karez extension. (The detail is given in the below table under Karez rehabilitation activity.
Agriculture Land: 63% increase in land cultivation and 4% more households were involved in the agriculture through construction of poly-tunnels, and they are also earning more income through cultivation of off-season vegetables), small farmers production expectantly increased with low delta crops due to high efficient irrigation system. More than 30 farmers were interested in adopting poly tunnel farming in order to cultivate off-season vegetables and their capacity has been built and strengthened in off-season vegetable production and micro-enterprise development, which helped them in getting involved in the off-season vegetable production. As a result of involvement of the farmers, all the poly-tunnels constructed in the project area are now full of off-season vegetables). Number of local farmers have directly contacted with forest department and agriculture departments for attainment of additional Olive and grape trees, which were provided by BRSP. Forest department has provided more than 800 forest trees to more than 50 farmers, while agriculture department has provided 400 Olive trees to one farmers.
Cropping Pattern: The target community didn’t have ample information regarding crops that require little water, are high in yield, drought resistant and climate change adaptation friendly. BRSP GIZ-RAHA project has first time introduced such crops (Olive, Grapes). In the result of this project, local farmers developed linkages with number of departments and received similar types of plants and planted in their respective areas. Not only the awareness but also the climate change smart adaptation practices were promoted in the target areas.
Water Harvesting Structures: 31 check dams were constructed with local stones, these water harvesting structure are the significant source of recharging Karez water and keeping the water table stable for local livelihood enhancement through agriculture and livestock production. During recent rains, the check dams and earthen dikes stored water and helped in infiltration and percolation of water in the ground, which would help in increasing the flow of Karezes.
Gender Sensitization: Gender mainstreaming has always remained a main concern in the socially tribal set up, particularly, in the bordering districts like Killah Abdullah, which is influenced by Afghanistan context. Despite this BRSP extensively social mobilized women and formed 48 female institution (Cos and VOs) s and many capacity building interventions were conducted such as CMST, LMST, Gender sensitization trainings and recreational activities. The GIZ-RAHA project benefited mostly the females as they benefited from the water activities, household cropping & cultivation, the installed washing pads and livestock interventions.
Project proved an eye opener for the communities of selected villages where community based integrated water management and conservation has not been implemented in the past. Activities planned in the project proved very helpful in improving the social cohesion among the community members. Besides, the activities also helped the community members in comprehending the idea of Integrated Water Resource Management. Project activities also exposed community members to new techniques of water conservation and crop production. The most important aspect of project interventions was raising a sense of ownership among the resident community members for the interventions undertaken in the area. This will not only ensure proper maintenance of these assets but will also paved the way for undertaking such endeavors in future through participatory approaches.