Programme Poster session 4
Impacts of Low-Cost Water Storage Tank Technology:
Author(s): a community
level study in High Himalayas.
Author(s): Dr. Madhusudan Bhattarai, Dr. Betman Singh Bhandari
Paper Presenter and Corresponding author
P. O. Box 42, Shanhua, Tainan, Taiwan 74199, ROC
Fax : (+886-6) 583- 0009
Keyword(s): low-cost water
storage tank, drip irrigation, vegetable, livelihoods, Nepal.
Session: Poster session 4
This paper analyses implications of a combination of low-cost water storage technology and off-season
vegetable production upon the livelihood of a rural community in the Himalayas. This is based on findings of a
comprehensive community and household level field survey in a high mountain area of central Nepal, which was
carried in late 2004.
For a successful adoption of a water technology and its long- run sustainability, it is
essential have a better integration of three elements such as technology, people and institutions. The term
“technology” under this study means a combination of two components: a) installation (adoption) of the low-cost
water storage tank (1500-3000 litters Jar), and b) off-season vegetable production using drip irrigation. This cost
less than US$75 per household to installed the technology.
Community members’ perceptions
and their realized impacts of the technology were analyzed by adopting a framework of livelihood analysis. In
addition to PRA and other qualitative tools and techniques, 40 households (20 adopters and 20 non-adopters) in the
village were thoroughly surveyed using structured households survey. This study analyzes impacts of both of the
technology-components, as noted earlier.
We found that the technology has generated a very
positive impact upon the community livelihoods. Within a sort span of 1-2 years, many adopters were successful in
doubling their annual farm-income. The high prices of the off-season vegetables also helped lots. Some of the
positive impacts of the technology identified by the adopters are: shift in cropping pattern from cereal based to
vegetable based, increased cropping intensity, Increased crop and land productivity, substantially increased farm
employment and income, improved health and nutrition level, and improved community well being, in general. At
many occasions, the technology has also helped fulfilling the households’ sanitation and other household demands for
Vegetable cultivation is a very labor-intensive task and it is also a pro-poor as it
provides employment mainly targeted to many poor and low-income households. Given these merits, the technology
has a good potential for adoption to several other upland areas in Nepal, where the high unemployment rate (or
partial employment) is a major concern, which is also one of the leading factors for the recent political unrest and
turmoil. In addition, this technology is affordable and appropriate for smallholders who cannot afford conventional
canal (or groundwater based) irrigation systems because of high initial investment costs. Furthermore, this technology
is good for highland and upland communities who suffer more from water scarcity, and who can not grow vegetables
and fruits largely due to unavailability of the water and lack of control of over water. Thus, not necessary that only a
large-scale water sector intervention, sometimes even from a small-scale investment in water technology
when it is well targeted and we utilize a better application of symbiotic effects of technology with the local markets,
and with other rural settings, as done by the technology promoting NGOs (IDE/Nepal) here.