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Building resilience by empowering poor urban communities to safeguard and manage a range of ecosystem services provided by wetlands (12/22)

Local slum community empowered to rehabilitate a degraded wetland and manage it sustainably for the ecosystem services it provides.

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Most slum communities do not have access to a clean source of water. Our idea is aimed at the restoration of polluted small green infrastructures (wetlands) in urban and peri-urban areas so that the slum communities will have access to the multiple ecosystem services (ES) that the wetlands provide. The multiple ecosystem services are, flood protection, groundwater recharge, regulation of water pollution that will support communities during extreme weather events as well as day to day activities, household food production. Our overarching idea is to demonstrate how community groups can be empowered to manage urban/peri-urban wetlands, so that its multiple services can serve the community, help derive economic benefits. The basic elements in the idea involve, science-based understanding of restoration and inclusive management system that empowers communities to manage their “own” wetlands with economic benefits. We will conduct 1. Science-based assessments of ecosystem functions of wetlands (flood and pollution protection, ground water recharge etc.) to help plan restoration activities. 2. Participatory action planning for restoration and management of wetlands together with local authorities and communities for implementation. The work will be carried out by the International Water Management Institute in partnership with community members, local authorities and SAFE an development NGO in Kolkata. Identified slum is Kalikapur in West Bengal, India. Details at IWMI attachment

WHO BENEFITS?

We will carry out the work at the Kalikapur slum in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Main beneficiary groups are urban and peri- urban slum communities who engage in the use of wetlands for economic activities. The wetlands are being lost, heavily polluted and have no attention from authorities. Restoration of ecosystem services will create new opportunities for a number of economic activities, if a an innovative institutional model is developed for community empowerment.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

The idea we present connects with institutions that have a direct and indirect stake in providing basic services to slum communities, and welcome innovations of support. The Municipalities and Slum Development Authority, are directly responsible for the provision of basic amenities to an ever growing population of migrants, who contribute to the economic processes in a city in multiple ways. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), has a responsibility to maintain and manage the wetlands, which is receiving less attention currently. The NGO, SAFE has prior experience in community facilitation and climate change adaptation implementation programs, which is linked to a Corporate Social Responsibility programs of institutions. We will work in the same slum that has the experience of forming cooperative groups to implement the idea. The institutional model however will be different. Science based assessment will be used to develop a climate resilient wetland management plan. A socio-ecological approach will address gender and flexibility aspects to create an “environmental consciousness” that will help fine tune the adaptive capacities of communities to respond to extreme weather events. The idea will look at multiple ecosystem services, like flood protection, groundwater recharge, pollution control, create habitats for bio-diversity impacting a larger urban landscape, while resolving an acute problem the communities face on a day to day basis – a clean source water supply from an underutilized natural resource. More in IWMI attachment.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

Priyanie Amerasinghe is a Senior Researcher attached to IWMI (Hyderabad office, India), and engage in research on ecosystem health, natural resource management and poverty alleviation. Matthew McCartney Principal Researcher and team member, has been studying wetlands and its wise-use for many years.

IS THIS A NEW OR RECENT IDEA FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING?

IWMI promotes the wise-use of wetlands, and is a member of the Ramsar panel of specialists. This is not a brand new idea. We have been looking at the larger hydrological connectivity of the wetlands of Kolkata, and monitoring the losses. During the process, we realized that no one is responsible for the existing wetlands and as such, are becoming either degraded or lost to other activities. We are working with an NGO who is engaging with the slum communities on WASH activities, and have been discussing the idea of facilitating the empowerment of management. So it is directly linked to our mandate and considerable thought has gone into it. We thought the call was timely to implement it.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SIMILAR INITIATIVES? WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY? WHAT UNIQUE ADVANTAGES DO YOU HAVE?

Within the city of Kolkata, we have not heard of an initiative that is aimed at empowering the slum communities to manage small wetlands, through a science-based approach. These urban wetlands are polluted and neglected but are being used by slum dwellers. Their management has low priority in the governmental development agenda. By coupling the needs of communities with new initiatives of the slum authorities, this idea seizes an opportunity to build community resilience to restore wetlands and its functions that will have far reaching consequences for the community at large and the environment. By empowering the community to manage, their adaptive capacities to climate change are enhanced, and a new type of governance mechanism that involves people and the government will be tested for the first time related to wetlands. We have a community that is already receptive to the idea, and is organized to a limited extent for other types of activities. The features that stand out are: Enhanced community resilience for CC impacts, wetland restoration and management which has ecological significance, supports municipal utility services, reducing pressure to find sources of water supply.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR IDEA?

The slum dweller community comprises a mixed group (religions, minority groups), that would not live together under normal circumstances. In addition, there is a floating population that visit the slum but do not live there permanently. We will need these groups, as well as women and men, to work together in a cooperative fashion. A key question is what is the best way to bring them together? To be successful, ideally there would be a government champion to see the program through and to push the ideas within the government bureaucracy. Who will this be? Finally, hydrology ensures that wetlands are dynamic systems. A key question is how does the wetland change between seasons and years?

WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?

Urban and peri-urban wetlands are a neglected natural resource. However, these are "functional commons" exploited by people, but are not managed. Despite the growing body of evidence that cities, and their citizens, derive benefits from wetlands, including the moderation of peak air temperatures, improvement of air quality, protection from storm surges and flooding, cleaning of polluted waste water discharges, provision of food and the opportunities for recreation and education, often these benefits are poorly integrated into urban planning and management decision-making. A good institutional model that encompasses empowerment of communities will be a milestone in urban planning.

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM YOUR COMMUNITY?

Between 16 and 19 November, 2015, we (IWMI and the South Asian Forum for Environment - SAFE) had focus group discussions with different groups (women and men) of slum dwellers from 4 wetlands. The key questions were 1. How did they use the wetlands - economic benefits ? 2. What are the multiple services wetlands provide? These were posed to understand if they felt the restoration of wetlands was worthwhile. IWMI identified the wetlands using satellite imagery. SAFE is working with the communities to promote livelihood activities and sanitation awareness. The local community recognized two types of wetlands. First, Bheries, wetlands that were used primarily for fish culture. Second, small wetlands used for all types of domestic purposes. While the basic idea remained the same, we realized that not all users of wetlands were interested. For example, those who had access to a municipal water supply were less keen. Those associated with fish culture wetlands were happy if they could have access to a restored wetland. Small wetland users were keener on the idea, as they had no safe water supply. The community wanted a larger sensitization and awareness building activity to bring the groups together. They had ideas for prevention of pollution and who should be involved from the government. A key question for them is “Who will fund the activity?” We realized that the process of engagement needs to be more innovative to bring a larger more disparate group together.

WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?

We would like to see the wetlands restored, and community-managed in a way that brings benefits to both people and nature and adds to community resilience in the face of climate change. We hope that such a model can be up-scaled up throughout the city, to involve a larger groups of slum dwellers and extend the green-infrastructure development. The next steps are to carry-out a situation analysis, identify the roles and responsibilities of the key players and institutions, recognize the incentives for beneficiary participation, identify internal funding sources and their accessibility for immediate use, and capacity building needs, the methodologies for scientific investigations.

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What type of activities will be funded through this call? Can some amounts used for activities planned by the communities?

How does your idea connect to the broader system of the city where you plan to implement?

An institutional analysis revealed the connectivity to the broader urban system/s and the key linkage points. The main institutions were, Municipality (utility services); Slum Development Authority (livelihood initiatives); Community development agents - SAFE (NGO partner), and - Ministry of Forests and Environment (Natural Resources System - Wetland linkages to the urban watershed hydrological cycle); The dialogues/meetings were facilitated by SAFE who has helped to establish a solar powered drinking water treatment plant in the selected slum and has been up-scaling such systems elsewhere. Beneficiary engagement was inspired by SAFE’s bio-rights work in the wetlands (see Figure 1 in attachment). Developing a workable institutional arrangement is key to the sustainability of the idea being implemented. With this, the community will become part of the broader institutional mechanisms and processes contributing to a larger mandate and becoming productive citizens.
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Team (2)

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Role added on team:

"IWMI team - Matthew McCartney (hydro-ecologist and ecosystem services specialist), Farah Ahmed (Uptake specialist); NGO-SAFE (Kolkata) West Bengal) - Dr Dipayan Dey (environmentalist and slum community development; Kalikapur slum community - Chandana - community leader for joint liabilities group; Municipality - Commissioner (utility services), Slum Development Authority - Commissioner (initiatives for slum Development); Ministry of Environment and Forests - Wetland conservation division."

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Attachments (4)

Final Feed back form.pdf

We visited 4 slum communities associated with wetlands, and not all were interested in the ecosystem services concept. The primary concern was drinking water, and then for other purposes. Two slums saw the economic value in the wetland restoration and were confident that with institutional support and guidance it was doable. They admitted that formation of community groups and capacity building was important.

2. IWMI Attchment_ GRP Call2015submitted.docx

This attachments describes some of the details on how the idea will be developed into a proposal for implementation. The key outputs are identified.

3. Final_Prototyping worksheet word.pdf.pdf

The prototyping worksheet describes the different key questions that arose during the idea development, and how they can be addressed if the idea is to be developed into a fully fledged project. The institutional arrangements and programs indicated that there are funds that can be tapped for community mobilization and development. Aligning CSR funds can have added benefits.

2. Final_ Experience Map_Final.pdf

The experience map shares the different scenarios associated with the community empowerment for wetland restoration. It illustrates the current status where the wetland is utilized for many purposes but its resources management is not with any institution. The gradual decline in wetlands has made areas vulnerable for floods, despite water availability made the ground water polluted and unavailable for human consumption.

26 comments

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Photo of Chiranjeet
Team

Dear Madam

Since our organization, SAFE, is part of the team, I am sharing my thoughts. It is important to tell that we were able to engage with the community at the idea phase. We were able to capture their interest and connect with the existing systems they have for the drinking water (water treatment plant, solar plant, biogas plant and bio-sanitation units). They were not aware that the wetland was the feeder source for the drinking water supply. For maintaining the drinking water plant, they participate in decision making system, awareness camps, health camps and sensitization sessions. This informal interaction is formalized with the formation of ‘Joint Liability’ groups those are bank linked. They take membership for using the facility, pay service charges for maintenance and the JLGs lead them for a sustainable process. It is community governance in entirety. The main motivation is the at-hand facility, basic amenities like water energy and sanitation. They recover free time for alternative livelihood as they are no more wasting it in queuing for water.

The model being sustainable revenue linked model, funding can be sought from the government through various slum development schemes through credit linkages of these JLGs. Otherwise also, CSR funding window works well for this. In Kolkata HSBC has supported the drinking water units in 6 slums, while the World Bank adopted this for northeastern India. Most recently, the Indian government has committed new-energy and sanitation for urban poor in their INDC. So supports can be expected from such central schemes of development too. Bringing the community together to manage it, is a novel idea to an existing community of practice looking into safeguarding the commons. Wetlands would be the centre of this intervention hub. The beneficiaries are already dependent on these wetlands for their ecosystem services, further sensitization and awareness building would enable them to understand why they should be an integral part of the conservation of the water bodies and ponds. It is in the central tenet of their livelihood.
Your intervention on family agrofarming with the waste water adds on to the ‘food security and nutritional reliance’ aspect for the urban poor. This is perfectly aligned with the national mission on food security. Also, this would bring a new focus to the wetland conservation policy in urban India, which is barely wanted now.

Wish you the best.

Chiranjeet Chatterjee
Director (Programmes), SAFE

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Thank you for the pointers on funding. This is an important part of launching such projects. Having an NGO like yours on the ground to offer facilitation is a bonus too. thank you for the value addition.

Photo of Farah Ahmed
Team

Dear Priyanie,
Some thoughts from my end - It will good to describe the process of community mobilization in a more detailed manner as a process – (maybe a flow diagram will help explain this well) and explain what each partner org will do. e.g a) Awareness building programs with the community about the topic to influence them on how this impacts their health and livelihoods. This is a great platform to also build partnerships b) Maybe organise the surrounding communities into small federations  groups/ associations or SHGs? Something that the community also sees benefit in. By forming them into groups for savings and credit will keep them engaged and connected as a group.These groups can be trained to organize activities in the furture, approach banks or government departments for funding.
c) Organize direct interviews with Government officials to get them on board about the idea and yes this opens up avenues for policy dialogues as stated by Amrita too . Government in the long run can become the potential funder to this project. My understanding is IWMI will provide all the scientific know how about the management of wet lands, NGOs like SAFE and others can partner to carry out all other activities with the community.  As a long term strategy what will be IWMI’s exit strategy for this be? And how do we see this running sustainable in the long run? So proposing an operational model would be a good idea. For e.g by improving the wet lands we are making the water reusable for agriculture and consumption purposes. When people start seeing the benefits of a cleaner environment, they will try to take ownership to maintain it however how can this be done in an organized manner?
a) Make these groups rotate the responsibility of maintaining and keeping it clean. Each group will have the right to fine or manage the use of water, based on a systematic model being created internally by them in a planned manner.
b) Probably you can look at this as a PPP model and try to engage the private sector under CSR to take up some of these areas to help build their capacities. As a CSR mandate, funding can come from them and organizations can see impacts within their geographical areas (return to investment) This will help corporate's address the concern of wet lands and clean water as a CSR mandate.

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Thank you for all you points. I particularly liked the one on the PPP model. The economic incentives are important to make the idea sustainable. I have a good set of ideas for further development as well.

Photo of Panchali
Team

Dear Priyanie,
I am sharing few points to be considered :
1. What are the long-term incentives and benefits?
Communities will engage in such initiatives only if they see long-term benefits mostly economic benefits, also short-term needs such as access to drinking water, adequate and timely irrigation water etc. Emphasising on exploring different livelihood opportunities with improved wetland management. Opportunities of expanding fish culture, vegetable cultivation to generate household income, along with food security for the household.
2. Knowledge exchange and information sharing 
Information sharing on new methods to expand the activity to generate income (such as inputs from the relevant experts on different types of fish to be cultivated in wetlands, feeds to be used, types of vegetables, cultivating in large quantity in small areas). These could be done in small units as a community work and at a small-scale with sharing the cost and benefits among the community members.
3. Adoption of community based conservation method: What will be structure of such community participation, what will be the organizational structure (fund management, maintenance of restored infrastructure, sustainability of the group)? (a) Facilitating effective cooperation, communication, and participation of different interest groups, users (b) Motivating the community to contribute money in small amount, labour and time to maintain such infrastructure (c) Linking these groups to local NGOs, local authorities for support (d) Participatory monitoring (d) (b)Incorporating mechanism for conflict resolution: Such as in situation of conflict over water distribution, sharing of benefits, lack of trust and miscommunication among local authorities and communities

4. What is the gender component of the project, whether it addresses the interest and constraints of all social groups in the community? What are the current roles of women in relation to use of wetlands, engagement in different livelihood activities in wetlands, what are their role in decision making in such activities, participation in community groups etc. What will be the impact of this intervention on women, will it bring any opportunities to empower women and poor social groups in the community?
5. What are the cross-sectoral issues and benefits from the wetland management?
6. What are the current policies and its impact on these wetland communities? Has there been any policy change, structural changes that has impacted the local initiatives etc.?
7. What is the exit strategy, scaling down, phasing out with external assistance liked to the community? Probably taking a gradual scaling down approach. Monitoring feature along with implementation.

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Panchali, Very valuable insights to add value to the idea.  I have included them as much as possible. Thank you.

Photo of Archisman Mitra
Team

Dear Priyanie,
2 comments from my side regarding your idea -
Firstly, since the slum dweller community is interested in using water from the wetlands for livelihood purposes like agriculture and fishing, there might be a opportunity to form a cooperative and encourage them to use the water from the wetlands in revenue generating activities like fishing or vegetable cultivation. Mecahnism has to be set up to ensure over-exploitation of wetland water does not occur. But connecting the management of wetlands with profitable activities will help to make these interventations to be sustainable.
Secondly, I feel that the proposal should also include of a socio -economic evaluation of the planned intervention, to better understand how it affects the livelihoods and well-being of the local slum dwelling community.  It looks like the benefits of this intervention would be quite heterogeneous across the community and this socio-economic evaluation would help to better understand that process.

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

I think the socio-economic evaluations are important in a community that is very heterogeneous. Groups formation and dynamics are also key to the success of an idea. Thank you. All the points have helped me to improve the idea.  

Photo of Amrita Chatterjee
Team

Dear Sir / Madam
Very interesting to read through your proposal. I have seen the slum dwellers in Nepal, Bangladesh and India growing vegetables and fruits near waterbodies, though in a very unstructured way. Your idea has a tremendous potential to organize this sector and would have definite societal impacts wherein the women can be mainstreamed to this business with dignity and social security. Most of them work as street rag pickers and are very vulnerable to social abuses, trafficking etc. Can you please suggest, what would be the numbers of women you are looking at for sustainability, because slums have in general an above 50% female population to my idea as most of the males are away to other places working as casual laborers. How do you think the women can be grouped as entrepreneurs to face the ensuing challenges of climate impacts, wherein they would need more economic abilities? I work with rag pickers and slum women and find that they have wonderful leadership abilities. How do you link this with wetland conservation? If possible, this would have strong social and policy implications, especially in densely urbanized cities those are aspiring for the 'Climate Smart' tags. Wish you the best. 

Photo of Daniel
Team

I agree with Amrita's points above and would just like to add that it would be good to quantify the number of households (including women, but also elderly and children) that would economically benefit from pond restoration..

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Amrita, I liked your suggestion of floating vegetable gardens as an economic incentive. The issues of women were also important to be included in the idea. Have done so now.

Photo of Nitasha Nair
Team

Dear Priyanie, 
This is a great idea with tremendous potential. A few suggestions  - 
1. It would be useful to include a thorough Stakeholder analysis along with institutional analysis. This will help the team understand the key influencers especially when the village has a lot of diverse groups, current gaps and the power structure.   The stakeholder and institutional analysis would directly feed into the communication plan as it would help in identifying champions of the concept who could take forward the work even after the project ends.
2. Communication plan - As I understand it is very important to find the information gaps and create channels of communication which integrates a feedback loop and facilitates not just one way but two way communication. This will in turn help in the community mobilization. 
3. Strong communications to be backed by scientific arguments like a cost benefit analysis. This would help put in perspective the requirement of such an intervention, value of ecosystem services and the consequences of not taking action now. 

Hope these points are useful. 

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Thank you Nitasha for your feed back. I have used them to add value to the idea. 

Photo of Anuradha Adhikari
Team

Dear Dr. Priyanie,
It would be helpful to incorporate cost benefit analysis regarding usage of wetlands for agriculture and other wise use as compared to use of other source of water. If there is direct monetary valuation involved, it will encourage people belonging to slum communities especially to engage themselves in the conservation activities.
Not only the direct use, indirect use of wetlands should also be considered in the study in the form using environmental modelling software to assess flood potential of the area and how much can be mitigated by wetlands or amount of groundwater recharge taking place through wetlands which in turn getting used by local communities.

Different scenarios need to be built for assessing future in terms of population growth, water demand or food demand. Well documented demand supply gap will make them understand their dependency on wetlands.

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Great points Anuradha - thanks for sharing them!

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Thank you Anuradha for your useful comments. Will incorporate them in the prototype idea. Your suggestion fits in with the multiple ecosystem services provided by the wetlands, some of which are direct and other indirect.   

Photo of Dipayan Dey
Team

Hi
This is Dipayan! First let me congratulate you for considering the ecosystem services of periurban wetlands, which are the most forgotten ones in town planning, especially when we are talking climate smart cities. Now, it is important here to note that almost one-third of the town population, the urban poor, depends upon the ecosystem services of ponds and waterbodies. However, they do not take responsibilities of these wetlands. I think it would be interesting to put few more things in your proposal to improve it like, formation of 'joint liability' community groups led by women who would be managing these wetlands and rejuvenate the ecosystem services, there can be capacity building for solid waste management and bio-sanitation etc. Also I feel the science of the system is important here. Waterbodies are natural recharging systems of water and therefore compensates the water usage. Reuse of refusal water in sanitation would be reducing the water footprints largely and can also sustain family farming. Thus it can be a sustainable bio-circular economy for the people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. What else can augment their resilience better, if they are economically sound. Usage of renewable energy is a high investment component but I think all governments are pledging to introduce new-energy for the poor in the south globe for down scaling emission footprints. I would also like you to address the comments, as I see from the experts about funding the projects. CSR support can be a unique way of seeding these efforts, which can then be made self sustaining. 

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Thank you Dipayan for your comments, and also working with us closely on this idea. I will definitely edit the forms now, that there is a lot of new ideas have been posted for improvement. The formation of joint-liability groups with the community will be an important feature for sustainability. The multiple training program on safeguarding the wetland services will be important too. For the science aspects, we have two scientists who can help us with the hydrological modelling.  They will be able to guide-us through the state of the wetland and make project the impact of climate change over time. For the community, a god knowledge on the types of water available to them, and its safe use should be part of the training programs. CSR support can definitely add value. Appreciate very much your thoughts for improvement. We look forward to having you on board for further brainstorming and finalizing the idea.  

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Priyanie, 
Below is some feedback from our experts. We look forward to reading your responses!

Have you considered appointed a grassroots level leader who care about these program so that he can motivate the community to be responsible?

My main piece of feedback on this idea is that it needs more detail in order for me to be able to assess it. I am unclear as how you will engage communities, how you intend to solicit and motivate action from community members and governments, and who would manage this process and results in the long term. How will this work be funded? And, how will you work to ensure that wetland restoration efforts solutions have sustainable management and financing arrangements in place?

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Hi Chioma,
Thank you for your response.

We have appointed Chandana as the leader for this program, from the community, as she leads the Joint liability group for the drinking water supply for the community. As stated in the beneficiary feedback forms, we discussed our idea with them, and found that she had the leadership qualities and the respect of the community, and capable of convincing others to join in activities that benefits them. At present she and the joint liability group members manage the drinking water plant for the entire community, which has been established with the support of a local NGO, South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE). SAFE is a partner of this idea, and has been partnering us in other wetland work in Kolkata. They are a well-known NGO working at the grass-root level, empowering communities to be self-reliant, and helping them to make use of opportunities that the government initiatives offer. They facilitate capacity building programs imparting knowledge and skills that are needed for their survival. SAFE is a registered civil society organization working towards sustainable environmental development and poverty alleviation in the Indian ecoregion of South Asia. SAFE works to achieve its development objectives through community participation, stakeholder partnership, and thereby envisages an inclusive global reciprocal policy frame for commons to promote sustainable environment development and wise use of natural resources. SAFE has successfully launched India’s first Biorights project in India at East Kolkata Wetlands, only Ramsar site of West Bengal in year 2008. They have won many international awards for their effort on uplifting the lives of slum dwellers. (http://www.safeinch.org/).
During the feed-back phase, we asked a select group of members from the 500 HH slum community. One of the points they raised was that the wetland should be maintained by the authorities of the municipality, and it has become a dumping ground for waste. We suggested to them if they would like to take part in the management of the wetland, if support was sought from the authorities. We explained to them wetland functions, and they said this has to be conveyed to the community at large. We will test out the joint liability group (JLG) model (which functions well for the drinking water plant) to collect funds for management of the wetlands, get the community groups to apply for the slum development program as startup money, train the JLG groups to draw-up a management plan with the support of the team. We are still sharing ideas on these aspects with different members of our team who in different offices. The start-up funds will come from the slum-development program, which will be strengthened by contributions from the community, the basis for the JLGs. SAFE has been successfully tapping into CSR funds from institutions, and this will be another source of funds. The team will draw-up the capacity building exercises to introduce the science-based lessons on wetland functions, which will include relating stories on climate episodes and impacts, games, social mapping and exposure visits. We will now revise the different sections of the idea for further feed-back. We have received a lot of feedback from others as well, which we will build into the idea that has been developed.
Thank you again, and we look forward to your feed back.

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Thanks for the extra info! One thing I'd suggest is editing your idea to make sure that the key points of your project and what you have learned are included on the main submission form. That is the primary place our evaluators are going to be looking. You can reference that more information is available in the attachments, but make sure your main points are in the form
It's great that you have taken the time to get feedback from the community and to summarize it for us - thank you! One thing I wonder is what the incentives are for community members to participate? It sounds like some were interested in livelihood activities related to the wetland (the agricultural suggestion) - did you get any other insights about what the incentives are for the community to want to play an active role? 

Photo of Isaac Njlah Konfor
Team

Dear sir,
Is there an outlet for the water? If yes, have you considered managing the water so that it shouldn't be standing for long? I find that it is necessary to manage the water such that it should be replenished from time to time. In that manner, water can neither dry up nor floods occuring in the area.

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

Hi,
Thank you for your comment. There is natural drainage, but it has not been maintained for many years, as no one is responsible for management. We want to see that the natural environmental flows are maintained, for the same reason. The community is also not equipped to handle this and needs capacity building too. This project aims to do that as well.

Photo of Daniel
Team

Hi,
In response to this, is the crucial hydrological purpose of ponds in storing excess runoff and recharging groundwater. I have been investigating the disappearance of urban ponds in Hyderbad (India) as part of my PhD research.. This has worsened the floods in the city during and extreme rainfall events. So I'd be confident to say that the restoration of these ponds serve an important purpose of reducing to some extend the costs associated to flood damage.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on making it to the Feedback Phase Priyanie! We would love it if you can take some time to answer the new Refinement questions that we've added to your original idea submission form. To answer the new questions, hit the Edit Contribution button at the top of your post. Scroll down to the entry fields of the new Refinement questions. Hit Save when you are done editing.

Also, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 11/16" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of Priyanie Amerasinghe
Team

We (our team) are discussing the idea with the potential beneficiaries in the location. We are asking ourselves two questions in the process. Should we select a wetland with multiple uses (including agriculture) or single use? The follow-up question to this is which of the communities is more receptive to the idea? We are working with a local NGO who has close links with a number of slum communities and already with WASH initiatives. We want to select a community that is receptive to the idea and willing to participate. At this stage, we have also got confirmed appointments with three government stakeholders, namely, the smaller municipality, larger municipal corporation and ministry of environment. Soon we will update the maps with these discussions.