Project overview:
    Goal: To improve health and income by
  • The cultivation of new plants
  • The cultivation of more high-grade plants
  • An additional harvest
  • Implementation:
  • Contact established by the local population
  • Evaluation by NGO
  • Mutual planning with the village community
  • Establishment of a management committee
  • Establishment of funds for maintenance expenses
  • Results:
  • Few systems are still functioning
  • The income of the peasants involved did increase
  • The variety of cultivated fruits and vegetables increased
  • A third harvest is partly possible
  • Numerous water irrigation systems did only function for a short time due to:
    • Destructions through landslides, theft or social upheaval
    • Mismanagement by the population
    • Insufficient support provided by local NGOs and sponsors
    Current activities:
  • Repair and maintenance of the system in a few, selected villages by taking account of the experienced made

Water irrigation projects:
The Nepal Relief Association implemented several water irrigation projects predominantly in the Rasuwa region in the North of Kathmandu. This happened in cooperation with the local NGO Deprosc. It was the aim to enhance the variety of the cultivated plants through their irrigation and to possibly enable an additional harvest. This shall improve the population¿s health and income by allowing for the cultivation of new vegetable- and fruit species.
In accordance with the principle of capacity building, it was essential that a village community asked our partner organization Deprosc for help in the installation of an irrigation system. The latter checked the local conditions and ¿ together with the village community ¿ drafted a concept on the installation and maintenance of the water irrigation system because it is the village community¿s responsibility to install the pipe system and to maintain it after its establishment. To enable this, Deprosc was at the community¿s disposal as contact partner and specialist in the necessary expertise and experience on the one hand; on the other hand, it was compulsory that every household paid a monthly small contribution in order to cover the arising repair costs. In some projects this obolus was connected to the establishment of a micro finance system that was to be run by the village community. The irrigated area generally amounted to 30 ha, there were 30-50 families involved. The water stems from the sources situated highly above the village in order to ensure a sufficient water pressure, whereas only a small portion of the river¿s water is taken to avoid a damage of the ecosystem. The water is conducted through water reservoirs and surge chambers onto the fields, which dispose of water taps in regular distances. It is again the village community¿s responsibility to provide an equal and balanced employment of the water taps. The terminal devices, tubes and blasters are bought individually by the farmers involved.
An evaluation of the project in year 2010 revealed that a large portion of the ca. 15 water irrigation systems were partly damaged or completely out of order. This had various external and internal reasons. In some projects, landslides occurring during the monsoon periods entirely destructed the systems due to the very steep and almost exclusive terraced slopes. Further reasons were the political situation, the upheaval by the Maoists, but also the targeted theft of the tubes and water taps carried out by the village¿s inhabitants themselves. The village community did not see itself in a position to hold the culprits liable as it lives in a political climate, in which the right is reserved for the stronger people. Moreover, the projects were not adequately supported by the organizations involved. There was a lack of mediators who could help in conflict situations; also, there was insufficient support in the realization of the requirement to establish a fund for the maintenance costs. Conversations with the village community revealed that there was hardly any interest in the continuation of the project; however, the villages still having a partly functioning water irrigation system did show interest. These villages also evidenced that the set objectives to increase income and enhance the food supply were actually met. This again encouraged those families that were no longer or not yet connected to the system to gain access to the water irrigation system as well. In another village, the irrigation system was already enhanced for the running of a corn mill by another organization.
In the described villages, the project is taken up again; however, on grounds of a restructuring of the Nepal Relief Association in Nepal, it is now also possible to support the project more closely.