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Impacts of Low-Cost Water Storage Tank Technology:

Author(s): a community level study in High Himalayas.
IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
4. Development of Water Resources and Infrastructure
Author(s): Dr. Madhusudan Bhattarai
Dr. Betman Singh Bhandari
Paper Presenter and Corresponding author Dr. Madhusudan Bhattarai Agricultural Economist P. O. Box 42, Shanhua, Tainan, Taiwan 74199, ROC Phone: (+886-6) 583-7801 Fax : (+886-6) 583- 0009 Email: madhu.Bhattarai@netra.avrdc.org.tw

Keyword(s): low-cost water storage tank, drip irrigation, vegetable, livelihoods, Nepal.
Article: Poster:

AbstractIntroduction 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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 water. Conclusion: 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 (
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