IWMI Nepal was invited to the USAID summit on “Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI): Promoting a culture of collaboration and learning” in Kathmandu on October 2, 2018 to share the challenges and successes of IWMI in integrating GESI into the USAID funded Digo Jal Bikas (DJB) project. With mainstreaming GESI at the heart of the project, DJB is generating a strong knowledge base, incorporating hydro-meterology, ecology, political economy, governance and socio-economic analysis, to develop best practices for water resources development in western Nepal that balance economic growth, social justice, and healthy, resilient ecosystems. The summit brought together success stories from a dozen USAID projects and initiated discussion on ways to internalize GESI in all projects in the long run.
The IWMI team presented the successes of the collective action in improving livelihoods of marginal communities in western Nepal by increasing their water use productivity. The DJB project interventions empowered landless and marginal farmers to establish collectives to take joint lease on land and share resources (labor, farm inputs, irrigation technologies, etc) for scaling up their agricultural practices. The project provided farmer collectives with solar irrigation pumps, micro-irrigation kits (drip and sprinkler), irrigation pond and improved seeds. The male and female farmers participating in the collectives were provided various trainings on resource sharing under the collective farming modality, efficient methods for irrigation, and vegetable farming. The specific case of Chuliya Chaudhary, a 73 year old widow, was presented who is now looking to start commercial vegetable farming after the success of her vegetable farming collective, started by the DJB project.
Check out IWMI’s full presentation here.