The Mundra region suffers from deforestation, loss of soil fertility, water scarcity and salinity. In order to conserve natural resources in the region, extensive work relating to soil conservation, watershed management, and environmental health is being carried out. Over the time, communities are constrained to farm degraded land that is increasingly unable to meet their needs or to increase their incomes. Check dams have been made which store surface water for use of both during and after the monsoon and helps in ground-water recharge of the area. This helps in raising the water table in the area. Availability of water ensures the increase of agricultural yield by multi-cropping. Investments in rain fed agriculture like pond renovations or well recharges have large payoffs in yield improvements and poverty alleviation through income generation and environmental sustainability. Other measures of water conservation like farm bunding, enhances water conservation and productivity, recharges the aquifer over a long period, arresting soil erosion and improving the soil moisture profile.
Lakhabhai, 56 years old, Nana Bhadiya Farm Bunding
“My village has a population of 1200 people and the main occupations are animal husbandry, daily wage labour and farming. Those engaged in farming have reaped good crops and benefits due to the regular actions by CGPL to make agriculture more profitable & sustainable. There has been a 20-30% decrease in salinity in the area. Fewer irrigation facilities were available earlier in our village which has been changed by the company’s participatory NRM approaches under the Utkarsh program. Through water harvesting structures there has been a reduction in the issue of water recharging and salinity. CGPL has constructed check dams, pond deepening and renovation, farm bunding and used simple techniques of well recharging. One of the important interventions has been farm bunding of our fields which has helped in storage of water, reduced run-off water to sea and keeps the soil fertile. Earlier, water salinity created many issues like health disorders, increase in the number of people born with ailments and disability and agriculture related disasters. The steps taken by CGPL give us hope that our area will soon have none of these issues prevalent.”Lakhubha, 55 years old, Tragadi village Pond Renovation
“CGPL has been extremely helpful and forthcoming in tackling the issue of natural resource management. 2 of our ponds have been renovated and recharged, which helped us tremendously. We regularly meet with CGPL’s Utkarsh team to discuss needs and activities for the community. The Utkarsh initiative has helped bores in the nearby areas have lesser salinity levels. Agriculture has also improved because of the improvement in water and an increase in the water table. Motor pumps have been constantly running since the pond renovation project, which highlights that due to these kinds of interventions, there is no longer water scarcity and salinity problems. We can now imagine a bright future and profitable agricultural occupation because of CGPL.”Navubha Udesang , Tragadi village Well Recharging
“We are 6 brothers who own 13 acres of land. The power plant has ensured that the weaker sections of society have better standards and means of living. A lot of people in our family have been getting jobs due to CGPL. Through pond renovations and well recharge higher incomes and production is possible. Increase in infrastructure like electricity also helps in increasing profitability from farming. Among 6 brothers we have 35 cattle and we get much higher prices for the milk now. We have got a ready market available at the company’s labour colony for sale of milk and other related products. Salinity has reduced in the area due to constant endeavors of CGPL in Natural Resource Management. The last year saw excellent crop production where we grew wheat, cotton, ‘bajri’ and ‘rachko’. Development for me means good yields, good incomes, and money, personal and family satisfaction which CGPL works to achieve in our village.”Dashuba Jadeja Well Recharging
“I grow cotton, castor and ‘bajri’ on 4 acres of land. I have great regard for CGPL members who visit me and other villagers regularly. With well recharging, water salinity has reduced and the general area water table has changed. Well recharging helps in water conservation and increases the supply of water available for agriculture. CGPL has helped me for the last 3 years in well recharging. I can strongly tell the difference in increase of production and an increase in my income which helped me raise the standard of living for my family. This program saved me the money since otherwise it would be difficult to make this investment. CGPL has invested in 6 well recharge programs which translate into benefits to more than 150 farmers in the area. CGPL understands that long run sustainability is key to progress & development. This can be observed with their meaningful investments in conserving natural resources.”
Mulji Karshan Gadhvi, Nana bhadiya Check dams
“4 acres of my land are irrigated and 7 acres are unirrigated. Irrigation systems in this area are poor. The check dam that CGPL has constructed is of 50 meters in the river area. CGPL through its implementing body VRTI, conducted the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and undertook consultative sessions with the community. Through check dams, now, more water is stored which prevents saline water to percolate and leads to higher agricultural yields and maximum production, resulting in increasing incomes. Till now more than 40 farmers have been benefited from the check
Buddha Dama Rabari, 39 years old, Tragadi village Farm bunding
“I heard about the farm bunding option offered by CGPL and approached them to avail the benefits. The process and the details were shared with me by their implementing agency- VRTI, which made me understand the transparent approach adopted by the company. The declaration form, participatory approach and transparency in the process attracted me to execute the same. We need more companies like CGPL to educate us and help us in identifying and implementing activities to enhance our livelihood opportunities”.