Social and Gender Framework Gondi Modernization

The current programme (KISRMIP) focuses on adopting pro-poor and gender inclusive mechanism within the overall programme design. The poverty reduction and social strategy under the programme is aligned with ADB’s Poverty and Social analysis strategy (2012) and GoI’s current policy (12th Five-year plan and Niti Ayog’s 15 years Vision Document) on promoting inclusive growth and achieving poverty reduction through strengthening rural infrastructure services including integrated water resources management, improvement in irrigated agriculture and community participation. Several poverty reduction programmes have been launched by the national/ state government for the rural poor, comprising small and marginal farmers, landless labourers and rural artisans. The Program also aims at providing enhanced water accessibility and equity to farmers and rural households for both agricultural and household purposes with special focus given to tail-end farmers, marginal, small and landless farmers and the poor and vulnerable women.

(A) Gender Strategy and Action Plan

The core objective of the gender strategy under this program is to mainstream gender relations in the context of irrigation management. Specifically, it envisages strengthening women’s participation in grassroots resource management, governance and leadership with a planned 30 percent women’s representation in the executive board by the year 2019. Alongside, the program also focuses on expanding women’s knowledge of crop diversification and management, on-farm water management, O&M, systems management and control. It also enables women to gain easy access to water for agricultural and non–agricultural uses, domestic use, and health and hygiene purposes.

Gender Action Plan and Progress

There has been notable progress made on the GAP. The first baseline assessment indicated that the participation of women in WUCS as well as in gram panchayat activities was quite poor and ineffective. As such only two (out of the now 11 WUCS) were partially active at the beginning of the project. Women’s participation in general was hardly forthcoming as a general feeling about their limited role in institutions such as WUCS or gram panchayat, agriculture or irrigation management was prevailing very strongly. Reasons also include:(i) local traditional practice of land holding only in the names of male members; (ii) women not encouraged to take up any works other than hard labour (in case of daily wagers).

(B) Safeguard Monitoring

As per the ADB Safeguard Policy 2009, an Initial Environmental Examination was carried out for the Gondi Modernization project. The IEE identified Environmental impacts that could occur during the construction activities. This involves aspects such as clearance of vegetation along the canals to give access to working space for construction activities, safe disposal of excavated material from the existing canals, gravel surfacing of canal roads, concrete lining of canal surfaces, reconstruction of canal structures, and provision of concrete field channels or pipe outlets. Gondi modernization project does not pass through forests and is away from the reserve forests by a safe distance. However the Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan in the IEE has been adhered to in the construction phase.

PSC also ensured that action plans prepared by the contractor have been suitably modified to include all aspects of EMMP to comply with the environmental safeguards guidelines. The Environmental Specialist assessed the Contractor’s EMP Implementation. Details of the safeguard measures and the evaluation and monitoring strategy is available as part of the Safeguard Monitoring Reports submitted by the PSC bi-annually.