Indian Farmers Are Turning Dumping Grounds into Water Saving Basin
Dobas are not water harvesting structures or reservoirs, and our ancestors have never thought of them in that way. Instead, they are outcomes of the clay material preparation process, within homesteads, used in mud house building on a family’s land. Millions of Dobas - a water harvesting structure and an environmental solution - exist throughout Mother Earth without any targeted efforts. When Rajadighi Community Health Service Society (RCHSS) started its first efforts with the people through extending and reshaping Dobas, the results came quickly, and in many dimensions as well.
The Doba-based Livelihood Program is an initiative of the Rajadighi Community Health Service Society (RCHSS) located in West Bengal, India, that is helping small-holder farmers conserve water and mitigate against climate change. Dobas are small human-made pits or ditches that, whilst traditionally used for other purposes, can harvest direct rainfall during the wet season and provide much-needed irrigation to crops during dryer months. The reshaping and conserving of dobas within innovative farming communities in West Bengal has resulted in increased crop health and cultivation, supporting livelihoods and the agricultural economy of the region.
Food Tank had the opportunity to speak to Shibesh Das of RCHSS to discuss the impacts of climate change and drought in West Bengal, and how the Doba-based Livelihood Program is enhancing the livelihoods of small subsistence farmers and their families.