Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA)
Dadeldhura District, Nepal
Rural Women’s Development and Unity Centre (RUWDUC in partnership with OXFAM have jointly implemented “Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA project.” The project has been rolled out in Mahakatli Rivers basin of Purshuram Municipality of Dadeldhura District., OXFAM Nepal has signed agreements with local organizations namely RUWDUC, Sankalpa, RUDES, NEEDS which are from Dadeldhura, Darchula, Baiatadi, and Kanchanpur Mahakali basin basin area implementing TROSA project .
The project goal is to reduce poverty and marginalization of vulnerable communities living in Mahakali basin – a sub-basin of Ganges and these river basins have significant trans-boundary challenges and present opportunities to achieve results as these river basins have relatively limited focus. The issues that this water basins face could be addressed include: impacts from floods and droughts; policy and governance; violence and girl’s trafficking; early warning and availability of water for the environment and ecosystems of rivers, watersheds, floodplains and wetlands. Including all these issues, there is another pertinent issue of the rights of the poor tans marginalized people within societies – either as result of race, religion or gender or often as consequence of all such. TROS A aims of address such governance issues in Mahakali basin of Nepal. TROSA’s objectives can be achieved through the wider coordination with high level government officials and other actors.
The TROSA is a five year-year regional level program ( 2017-2022). The program is launched in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Mayanmar focusing in the transboundary water basins. The program brings together efforts to support the lives of communities living along the Ganges, the Brahmaputra- Meghna and the Salween river basins.
Objectives of the project:
The overall objective of the project is to: “Reduce poverty and marginalization of vulnerable river basin communities through increased access to and control over riverine water resources on which their livelihoods depend.”
Improved policies and practices of government that protect the rights of river basin communities to water resources
Improved policies and practices of private sector and other actors that respect the rights of river basin communities to water resources
Strengthened capacity of river basin communities and civil society to participate in and influence trans-boundary water resource management
Cross cutting objective
Amplification of women’s profile and influence in dialogues and decision- making on infrastructure
The TROSA Project interventions are exclusively designed to bring in various stakeholders together represented by government, private sectors, CSOs and encompassing actors beyond boarders in one platform so as to raise their awareness on the situations and make them realize policy makers on the inherent causes of poverty, marginalization and vulnerability of basin communities of those who are perpetually deprived of access to and control over riverine water resources to improve their livelihoods. Here are some expected outcomes under which respective outputs are stated below:
Outcome 1: Outcome # 1: Government policies and practices at all levels in water resource management area more inclusive of community concerns and meet national and international standards
River Basin Level Outputs (1.1-1.5)
Raising awareness in government, develop and disseminate communication resources for government stakeholders using inception phase analysis and case studies; including info graphics, stories, blogs, briefing papers etc.
Collaborate with energy network partners a basin dialogue (sub-national) about alternative energy policy and plans (I, B, N) and (M and T)Central Level
Organizing an annual dialogue event involving CSOs, affected communities & government (to be determined) on each River Basin – District Level ( loose network, committees, plate form
Country level Outputs 1.6- 1.14
Nepal will coordinate with India to share findings of Mahakali analysis with India stakeholders to identify common issues & actors for the Sharada
Conduct a national dialogue, with energy network partners in India and in Nepal- inter-country
Regional exchange visit & dialogue between Government agencies
Basin learning event (Government + CSOs – Impacting issues and dialogue by involving WEC members
Trans- boundary policy events
Government exchange to see issues on ground, and understand across border
Outcome 2: Practices of practices of private sector respect community access to water resources actively contributing to reduced conflict
Output 2.1 – 2.3
River Basin level outputs
Organizing dialogue events to engage with 30 people from private sector CSOs affected communities and / or district government based on trans-boundary issues identified form consultations
Raising an annual meeting and / or exposures in the targeted / affected area
Organizing an annual meeting and / or exposures in the targeted / affected area
Country levels Outputs ( 2.4 -2.6 )
Providing key documents on international standards and practices obtained from research and practices ( only focus on key case studies from the field )
Outcome 3: Strengthened capacity of river basin communities and civil society to participate in and influence trans-boundary water resource management
River basin level Outputs (3.1-3.5)
Prepare and disseminate CSO and community level information about water rights and basin programs; using media (print, radio , ICT, and / or TV , street theater , posters / pamphlets etc.;
Documentation of transboundary issues or of water challenges within local contest and take to government and private sector stakeholders
Review of Existing Early Warning system in Mahakali / Sarada Basin ( coordination with OXFAM India )
EWS across boundaries area established (Coordination meeting with DHM , ICIMOD ,Practical Action and other related stakeholders, Formation of a task force, development of EWS communication strategy and simulation)
Assessing budget allocation for water management issues at local scales- local , municipal , district – to ascertain where resources are allocated and where there’re are gaps.
Contingency support and contingency plan for partner
Country level output 3.6-3.9
Conflict and grievance mechanisms established and tested for community to community conflict across borders
Outcome 4: Increased participation & influence of women in transboundary water governance. Policies and processes
River Basin Level Output 9 4.1 – 4.2)
Consultation with women form the target VDCs / municipalities on the program gender strategy
In all contexts, Awareness Raising and strengthening and participation of women in women focused organizing structures, such as the Women’s Empowerment Centers ( WEC’s in Nepal ( 1360 women i.e . 20 20 VDC * 34 PP * event, 20 sm 200$ for 20 VDC
Country level Output
Partners Orientation workshop
RUWDUC in media:
Outcome 1 Improved policies and practice of government that protects the rights of river basin communities to water resources
Under the stated objective, RUWDUC’s Founder President and ex-member of the parliament Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba chaired the policy makers workshop in which newly elected members of local government bodies had participated. The Governor of province-7 and chief guest of the event Mr. Mohan Raj Mall and RUWDUC’s founder President Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba jointly inaugurated the policy maker’s workshop. The Province governor and Dr. Deuba jointly inaugurated workshop by sprinkling water over the plant signifying importance of water, symbolic to TROSA as water governance project and lighted inaugural lamp .
On behalf of OXFAM NOVIB- TROSA Regional Manager Mr. Jyoti Raj Patra- was the distinguished guest in the workshop who on behalf of OXFAM and Project welcomed the workshop participants and expressed happiness over the participation of newly elected local body representatives from TROSA project districts. Mr. Patra thanked participants specially Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba for chairing the workshop and thanked Governor for inaugurating the event by managing time despite busy schedule. He also thanked specially the District Coordination Committee heads, Mayer’s, Deputy Mayer’s, Rural Municipality Heads and all members from TROSA districts present in the important occasion. Mr. Patra emphasized on the need to seek cooperation, coordination and guidance from elected representatives of local bodies for TROSA project so that the project can successfully deliver benefits to riverine communities which could bring in improvement in livelihoods of communities. He reiterated that the workshop event as such was an opportunity to inform newly elected local bodies representatives, policy makers, which now happens to be the very powerful unit of local body –led by the Chief of District Coordination Committees, Mayers and deputy Mayers of Municipalities and rural municipality heads and members to materialize the project. He explained about the rationale and importance of TROSA project. He also expressed confidence that if communities ( in India and Nepal) can come closer to solve the problem, both governments can be brought together to realize the inherent issues in the transboundary for water usages. He further explained that the nature of the project is albeit different, but also it is equally important for the Nepal and India both. He gave an example of Mekong Rivers model transboundary project in which altogether five countries viz, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia,China of south-east Asian countries are sharing benefits with range of livelihood options from river water with demonstrated development of local communities.
The governor of province -7 and Chief Guest thanked Dr. Rana Deuba Chairing the session and welcomed special guest Mr. Joyti Raj Patra with due respect on behalf of the province designating “ special guest.” He told that now it is the responsibility of all to make the province # 7 a beautiful place.
He explained that the great rivers banks had always had been places of world’s greatest civilizations and culture in the history indicating inextricable relationship between men and rivers. At the same time, there had been great wars fought in the history for the sake of waters which still continues between countries one or the other way round competing for resources. Therefore, it is important to build community to community relationship on either side of the river Mahakali for cooperation and to avoid any untoward problem by proactive handling of issue with delicacy.
The governor explained that communities in India and Nepal are kept apart only because of spatial location of own brothers of one family living apart on two sides of Mahakali Rivers, those who have great similarity in their life situation owing to same culture, religion and way of life.
The Governor suggested that the government of Nepal and India need to be sensitive before developing any infrastructure which would pose threat to security of people living on either side of the river Mahakali. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain cordial relationship between communities and government together in transboundary area to avoid any threat posing construction activity.
On water and pollution and water quality of rivers Mr. Governor explained about his experience of drinking river water directly years back, which now is not worth the situation indicating pollution and environmental changes as the result of human activity.
While concluding, he again emphasized on building people to people relations especially by promoting women leadership as water champions to manage issues practically as powerful brokers in the whole process of water management.
At the end of open forum discussion in the workshop Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba made concluding remarks on first day workshop of policy makers, and happily thanked all heads and members of local elected bodies, social and development professionals from RUDUC, RUDES, Sankalpa, NEEDS and OXFAM for their active participation in making the event a success together she applaud Sweden government for funds, to help RUWDUC to bring about awareness among larger audience in the province -7
She further reiterated that how this workshop of policy makers has impressed the participants to think through and what type of development the policy makers dream for and what measure would they to take to minimize risks of disaster events and seek benefit from development, now they know better than we do. They have to do now. She finally remarked saying it has been obvious that people’s voices often being left unheard and facts have not yet reached to policy makers. As of now we have been equally sharing fishes, water for irrigation from rivers between us, however, women’s voices still need to be heard from each household if this is the learning opportunity assuring they will come forward.
Commenting upon early warning system and asking its whereabouts, Dr. Deuba asked if it exists and how has data been shared to protect people from disaster events.
TROSA project team leader Mr. Rajan Subedi presented the project goal and objectives with rationale, highlighting community issues required to address under final goal and objectives with intervention designed within given budget. List of the participants is annexed. Simialry , OXFAM Wash and Water Governance Director Mr. Dinesh Bajracharya explained about gave opinion on water and waer governance
At the end of the first-day workshop, the participants agreed on and signed declaration as their commitment to support Transboundary Rivers of South Asia project for its successful implementation in four districts of Mahakali riverine communities for the benefit of communities. Attached with the report is the video clip of workshop with link below
Outcome 1 District level Raising Awareness Workshop
The project organized Awareness Raising Activity for district level stakeholders and government personnel in which district line agency officers and newly elected local body representatives in Dadedhura district, were shared information about eminent problems facing the riverine communities for them to consider and accept issues on the ground. The activity was conducted in r in January 2018.
The objective of the activity was to discuss among duty bearers and making aware of problems the communities face in transboundary area settled in marginal lands on the Rivers bank of Mahakali which is the main cause of perpetual plight of riverine communities.
The Chairperson of District Co-ordination Committee, Mayer of Amargadi Municipality and Chief District Officer Dadeldhura witnessed the event. Among the government officials District Administration Officer, District Soil Conservation officer, and District Agriculture Development officer observed problem requiring immediate need to address. The line agencies heads DADO (Agriculture office), DSCO (Conservation office) as experts on the subjects also expressed application of technical measure to resolve issues.
Outcome 1 Participants view of District level Awareness raising workshop
Following the deliberation in the Awareness raising activity, it was observed that the participants from government offices were empathic to riverine communities of Mahakali who responsibly accepted the issues and expressed commitment to address by allocating government resource which is a forward move compared to past. Furthermore, the newly elected Mayer of Parashuram Municipality and the members promised to plead for seeking additional resources from the government to address issues on priority of rivers basin communities by incorporating concerns in the government’s annual plan.
Outcome 1 Dissemination through Radio Jingles:
The project aiming to reach all most all the riverine community beneficiaries has contracted local FM radio station to broadcast in Jogbuda to disseminate information on the importance of safe water emphasizing water governance and water usages rights of communities.
Secondly, radio jingles communicates on the importance of Women’s Empowerment Centers-WEC and alternative livelihood option for community have been aired from Parshuram FM station under the agreement from Jan end for six months.
Outcome of airing jingles from the radio station:
• Radio Jingles helped raise awareness and understanding considerably on water Right among the local people and radio listeners.
• Helped listeners think through on how to seek support from respective government offices for alternative livelihood option
• Dissemination from radio about the functioning of WEC members has heightened the morale and self-esteem of WEC members
• Created improved awareness on environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity in the riverine area and interface forest area
• Jingle message has reached larger sections of people in Dadeldhura district at least among thirty thousand populations in Jogbuda area.
• TROSA has developed leaflet and poster depicting problem and introducing the Transboundary nature of the project and its need in South Asia for basin development. The leaflet and poster have shared among project participants
• RUWDUC TROSA website: http://ruwductrosa.org/index.html is developed to inform stakeholders with important information.
Transboundary Rivers of South Asia Awareness workshop – on usages of waters
Interactive Workshop of Civil Society organizations /Stakeholders / Beneficiary of Nepal and India in the Transboundary area of Rivers Mahankali
Outcome 2 Awareness Raising among private sector stakeholders
RUWDUC TROSA project and World Wide Funds for Nature conservation ( WWF) jointly organized Awareness Raising activity among private sector stakeholders in Dadeldhura district for those who were identified by WWF. An open discussion followed through represented by community based organizations, local club members, various groups and committees for their active engagement in project activity on behalf of Private Sector to become aware of project objectives to address problems of riverine communities.
The project developed and shared leaflet and poster as Communication material to disseminate project information among participants particularly those with private sector representatives. The workshop was conducted in village setting of Kunda and Parigaun villages in Jogbuda of Parashuram Municipality during the third quarter. Apart from that contractors from private sector, the government officials from, viz, District conservation Officer, Agriculture officer, and Administrative officer from Job Buda Area office ( Ilaka Office) attended the workshop.
Outcome 2 Private sector mapping and engagement in Mahakali basin.
The project organized an interaction program in the field in which representatives from private sector had participated from Mahakali river bank area, available local government officials in Jogbuda and community members during second month of quarter.
Participation of direct and indirect beneficiaries of Mahakali watershed among which Sand miners, fishers, Early Warning Information providers, soil conservation office members, river water Gauge readers, Irrigation Officer, Rural Municipality office bearers, Agriculture Branch Office, WEC’s. Total 16 men and 8 women took part in discussion session. The dialogue was taken place between participants on the following area stated below:
• Conflict observed between intra households and inter community frequently for want of water either for drinking or irrigation
• Change occurred in water sources
• Understanding of the Impacts of climate
• Impacts of changes on Livelihood
• Possible solution to the existing problems
Outcome 3 Regional Visit and workshop
Under objective 3, the project organized workshop session to share pertinent issues often encountered by riverine communities on both Indian and Nepali side of transboundary area of Mahakali river. The participants were INJAF members, TROSA district partners, project beneficiaries, NGOs partners and representatives of Women Empowerment Centers ( WEC) active on the ground representing the riverine communities.
The objective of the workshop was to create awareness among civil society organizations through orientation from government’s Irrigation experts in Mahakali transboundary on prevalent situation and observed distribution of water from Banbasa canal. Other government officials from Districts, OXFAM staff members, including TROSA districts partners visited in Banbasa, India and observed unjust water distribution to Nepalil land by Indian side.
INJAF an Informal body named India Nepal Joint Action Forum has been working as an informal body of loose network which represents the civil society organizations both from Indian and Nepali communities. INJAF is contributing to address multiple community issues that often arise in the transboundary area both in India and Nepal. These groups of individual work had working voluntarily since more than last sixteen years from now and they have addressed some issues and delivered services to communities in situation arising due to unjust social and political system.
In addition to this, Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba, Chaired the third day workshop event organized for dialogue between NGO partners, INJAF members, and beneficiaries specially WEC women members. The Chief District Officer of Kailali district Mr. Gobinda Rijal inaugurated the workshop jointly with Dr. Arzu Deuba
At the end of the third day workshop the participants from civil society organizations including TROSA implementing partner NGOs and OXFAM personnel signed declaration as their commitment to work for Transboundary Rivers of South Asia project to make the project a success. Attached is the declaration of workshop participant’s civil society organizations.
Outcome 3 Private sector workshop in Dadeldhura
DSCO Officer, Chief of Agricultural Branch, Illaka administration officer, representatives from Industrial Commercial Association, were present in the discussion forum.
Towards the end of discussion, the government officials and private sector both reiterated the problem caused due to activity of private sector particularly with respect to status of water quality. Further, various construction works by private contractors active in the area could lead to untoward disaster events affecting water quality thus making communities to suffer at the end. From the workshop the community and private sector mediated by government officials concluded to take care and minimize untoward happening onwards resulting from the acts of private sector. The workshop emphasized on maintaining coordination and information sharing of ongoing activities of private sector so that both community and private sector become aware to take extra mitigation measure to reduce risk due to hazard.
Outcome 3 Strengthening/ Support Early Warning System- Jogbuda, Dadeldhura.
As per the information obtained Practical Action is investigating to identify appropriate location for setting early warning system as we are given to understand informally. RUWDUC so far is on watch and see the report investigation report for placement of EWS or supporting existing system. RUWDUC believes on EWS operated by local communities on disaster risk reduction. It would be too early to make opinion on the nature of support RUWDUC could provide for EWS which should be technically feasible, cost effective and manageable for long run.
Outcome 4 Women Empowerment Centers ( WEC):
Given the importance of women’s multiple roles in households chores together with anticipating their performance in community development, the RUWDUC TROSA project facilitated to organize two Women Empowerment Centers ( WEC) in each riverine communities to reactivate women among those who were engaged in former development activities. Currently there are two such WECs in the area namely in Parigoan and Kunda village settlements. The social mobilizers are regularly providing guidance and support by imparting knowledge among women group members in a class like situation. Women members in the empowerment centers are now aware of the problem from the knowledge gained from social mobilizers. Basically, the women members learn everything about their life situation in deprivation. They also now become aware and can adopt measure to resolve issues which they often encounter since long as stated below:
• Regular flash floods, and landslides affected the settlement houses of transboundary interface with Mahakali rivers
• Socially gender based violence is rampant given the low income level among leading to poverty situation and low self-esteem and least awareness among men and women of prevalent situation
• Unmanaged and excessive usages of existing natural resources for own consumption resulting in inadequate water for irrigation and safe drinking water and negatively affecting forest and biodiversity endowment in the area
Similarly, the RUWDUC TROSA project organized a dialogue event at project sites for seeking co-ordination of Parashuram Municipality in the presence of all members of Rural Municipality level stakeholders during this quarter in which various issues of riverine communities were discussed. The meeting concluded to further scale up dialogue event for greater co-ordination putting effort on collaboration with other major stakeholders in district for smooth operation of the project so that the community voices are consistently heard among the policy makers on both sides of Mahakali Transboundary Rivers.
MEAL Training to TROSA Staff on Impact Monitoring Knowledge (Baseline)
As part of capacity building activity OXFAM Nepal organized Impact Monitoring Knowledge training for TROSA project’s partner’s staff from working district in Dhangadi. Social mobilizers and Field officers of all TROSA implementing partners received three day training on how to enumerate data of sampled households before actually initiating baseline survey for – IMK in the local communities from identified respondent using computer program over mobile phone compatible technology. Following the training data from 20 sampled household was collected from Jan. 23 –03 March 2018 in Parshuram Municipality. One Female Enumerator travelled to Saptari for comparisons data out of the TROSA project area.
Youtube Link Transboundary Rivers of South Asia Awareness workshop – on usages of waters
Interactive Workshop of Civil Society organizations /Stakeholders / Beneficiary of Nepal and India in the Transboundary area of Rivers Mahankali