Water - Dug Well Project
Action for Social Advancement
To transform and ensure the livelihoods of the people of western Madhya Pradesh to increase productivity within their community and sustain themselves long into the future.
To support and positively impact 630 poor tribal households of Jhabua, Ratlam and Barwani districts of western Madhya Pradesh.
To provide 252 individual dug wells to farmers for irrigation and capacity building of the tribal farming communities in western Madhya Pradesh, in order to improve the household standard of living and ensure food security.
2011 – 2014
The Savitri Trust has been supporting the dug well project in Madhya Pradesh since 2008 and up until 2011 has provided 1,125 tribal (Bhil and Bhilalas) families with 450 dug wells.
This is an extremely simple yet effective project that provides two farming families with access to water in one dug well so that they can irrigate their fields to increase the production yield and ultimately increase their income generating capacity.
The impact of the project is clear: before a dug well is constructed or renovated the farmer is fully dependent on the monsoon for irrigation and therefore only able to produce one yield each year. Post construction of the dug well, the farmer is guaranteed two yields, increasing his productivity by 100%. The knock-on effects are far-reaching; as the standard of living increases and household security is ensured, there is a decrease in borrowing from money lenders and an increase in children attending school. In addition to this, farmers begin to develop a supportive community and enjoy a better quality of life.
The dug well project is just one of many interventions of our partner organisation, Action for Social Advancement. This project would not be as successful as it is without other components such as field bunding (techniques used to increase the underground water table), farmer cooperatives and low cost environmentally friendly agricultural inputs. It costs just £570 to construct a new well and change the lives of 2-3 farming families.
This project started in April 2011: the targets for the 3 year project are to construct 192 new wells and renovate 60 wells throughout the Jhabua, Barwani and Ratlam districts of western Madhya Pradesh.
This is Gabru Dhanji, a farmer from Marawala village, Badwani district in Madhya Pradesh. Gabru joined the dug-well programme in 2009 and has found it life-changing. The aim of this project is to improve the income generating capacity of the individual and provide food security for the household.
Gabru persuaded his family to help him carry out the manual labour to construct the 30ft well. The total cost of this was Rs. 70,000 (£1,000), with Rs. 30,000 (£430) subsidized by the programme through installments towards each completed benchmark, and the remainder met by the free labour of Gabru and his family members.
Two years later Gabru’s well now supports an extended family of 18 people. He has changed his house from one made of mud and branches to a sturdier brick house. He now has 10 months food supply in his home where previously he had only 6 months. From the table below, the increase in productivity is very clear. Before the well, 5 people migrated for 6 months of the year, now only 4 people migrate for 2 months.