One of our Research Associates, Ms Anushiya Shrestha from Nepal Engineering College, attended a training programme organised at the Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) training centre in Darewadi from 18th to 27th October 2010. Participants came from different countries like Nepal, Indonesia, Yemen, Switzerland, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan and Burundi.
The training included presentations, demonstrations, field visits and interactions with the local communities aimed in enhancing the skills and approaches for community –based watershed management.
Facilitators from WOTR introduced the concept of watershed along with genesis of watershed development concepts. They also shared WOTR’s experiences and the way it has influenced the way resources are allocated for the overall watershed development strategy at the local, state and national level.
The vision and conceptual framework of WOTR inspiringly described watershed development as the interrelated activities of conservation, regeneration and judicious utilization of all the resources- land, water, vegetative, animal and human- within a particular watershed. Watershed development seeks to bring about an optimal equilibrium in the eco space between natural resources, man and animals.
The training session involved mutual interactions among the participants and the facilitators with sharing of the understanding and experiences from diverse parts of the world. The program also clearly revealed that the changes that watershed development projects bring into the lives of people can best be represented through the model villages, one of them being, Darewadi. The development processes involved in the implementation of the watershed was initiated through capacity building phase.
The crux of the training provided insight, while implementing process of capacity building, it needs to be kept in mind that the capacity building activities do not or should not discontinue at the end of the temporal phase of capacity building, but continue through the entire period. This included creating awareness regarding basic concept of watershed through multiple exposure visits.
The training also provided information about the application of information technology for developmental planning. Screening of films documented by WOTR during different projects made the evenings very entertaining and informative. The programme closed with exposure visits to organic farms based on “Natueco Methodology” and a visit to historical and archeological sites in Ahmednagar.