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Gist of YOJANA : Water Management: Building a Resilient Nation

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Published: 27th Feb, 2020

Gist of YOJANA : Water Management: Building a Resilient Nation

  • UNICEF is a key technical partner to the GoI on water and sanitation programming and is dedicated to supporting the nation’s progress towards SDG Goal 6 which aims to achieve Universal access to safely managed water and sanitation by 2030.

Successful Initiatives: Water Management

Environment and Community: How Maharashtra is Investing in Women’s Leadership for Sustainable Development in Water – Stressed Areas

  • Maharashtra has declared drought in three of the past five years. Almost 70% of the state’s geographical area lies in the semi-arid region, rendering it vulnerable to water scarcity, this is exacerbated by further drought.
  • Women-led Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Resilient Practices Project’ or W-SHARP was implemented in 2018 to test the effectiveness of risk-informed planning driven by local contexts and communities such as those of Marathwada, especially during lean periods, March to June.
  • W-SHARP targeted women’s and vulnerable families’ participation as a core aspect of the project.  The project took an innovative approach by positioning women as key change agents who charged forward in mobilizing their communities, local bodies, and government institutions for shared causes. 
  • One key outcome of this project was to encourage community participation in local governance and foster partnership with relevant government and civil society institutions.
  • This allowed W-SHARP to provide spaces for peer learning exchanges and dialogue fora.

Key Interventions under this initiative:  

  • Household-level Engagement: The Arogya Sakhis mobilized women’s groups in their villages to discuss information and practices relevant to good water management practices at the household level. Water budgeting was practised by all targeted households.
  • Community-level Engagement: Communities were engaged in discussions on climate-resilient practices and options for livelihoods.
  • Convergent Governance: A unique aspect of this project was the use of National flagship programmes to empower the communities. Construction of soak pits, toilets and adoption of new agricultural innovations were done through convergent funds.

Environment and Governance: Mitigation of Fluorosis in Rajasthan

  • The state of Rajasthan makes for a classic case on the socio-cultural and environmental implications of sourcing safe drinking water in a semi-arid and water-scarce region.
  • Over-exploitation of the groundwater, which has increased due to recent climatic changes, along with recurrent droughts have contributed to the leaching of rocks with fluoride compounds, thereby releasing the volatile element into the water sources, making it unsafe for drinking.
  • UNICEF supported the Government of Rajasthan in demonstration of Integrated Fluorosis Mitigation Approach pilot in Dungarpur in 2018.
  • It is a people-centric district platform, led by District Magistrate to have a focus on holistic fluorosis mitigation while leveraging programme funds across districts to support the planned activities. 

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