It is amazing how check dams when taken in a series can completely change the geography and economy of a place even in the very first year. The villagers become ecstatic as their water levels and cash inflows exceed their wildest imaginations.
Below are some of the direct and indirect benefits of water harvesting:
Economic Prosperity A few instances of villages dams that have transformed villages economies. The income yields increased more than 10 fold in some instances!
1. Kalakhet ka Check Dam Before construction the winter crop yield of 2007-08 was Rs. 2,98,651/- After construction the winter crop yield of 2010-11 was Rs. 20,643,300/-
2. Nichli Chadar ka Check Dam Before construction the winter crop yield of 2007-08 was Rs.1,121,888/- After construction the winter crop yield of 2010-11 was Rs.15,888,184/-
Jobs Created Agricultural and livestock related numerous jobs are created which automatically stem migration to urban areas in search of livelihoods.
Drought Protection Our work has now spread to 70 villages and atleast half of these have become drought-proof. This means that even if they receive very scanty rainfall, they will still have enough for daily needs as well as less water-intensive crop like gram.
Saving Lives of farm animals When there is scarcity of water farm animals and vegetation are the worst hit. With the availability of water animals thrive and farm produce increases many fold.
Debt Relief Villagers can now take up to three crops, thus their incomes increase and they become free of the burden of debt which otherwise remain unpaid for generations.
Well Being of Women Traditionally, the burden of full filling the water requirement of the family falls on the woman. The woman has to walk long miles with pitchers on her head. This takes a heavy toll of the health and physique of the women. The easy proximity of water from wells and hand pumps relieves the women in many ways and brings about general health and hygiene to the area.
Environment Check Dams transform the geography and environment of the area substantially. The parched, arid land starts smiling as it is now covered with abundant greenery, pasture and ponds after ponds perennially filled with water giving sustenance to ducks and fishes. A number of our dams feed into rivers too. See the section on rivers for this.
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