German green project activated at Kangpokpi village
KPI, 16th Sep: The second Water Resources Conservation Group (WRCG), a last mile policy execution group formed by residents of villages under German Development Bank (KfW), was constituted at Lungphou village in the upper reach of Imphal River watershed in Kangpokpi district on Sunday.
The implementation body was formed as part of the KfW-sponsored project for regeneration of soil health and water retention capacity to ensure perennial flow of water in major river systems of the state.
The first body was formed at Konshakhul village on Singda watershed earlier this year.
Sunday’s function was chaired by principal chief conservator of forest Ng Kipgen, who is also the project director of the KfW initiative. Chief technical advisor of GFA (a German consultancy group engaged by KfW) Manohar Shrestha, assistant chief technical advisor Hrishikesh Konthoujam and consultant Pradip Phanjoubam were also present at the function.
The Manipur component of the KfW project is part of a bigger plan for greening the Eastern Himalayas of which Manipur is a part. The project has a multi-layered approach to achieve its goal. It will be a village driven project with technical help from state forest department and consultancy provided by GFA. Its aim, among others, is to benefit the project villages directly through entry level livelihoods enhancement activities, but in a much bigger way by regenerating soil health in their villages.
The benefit is also calculated to cascade down the benefit to everyone else settled along the river basins and ultimately become part of the global fight against climate change, keeping in line with the well-known slogan of the world environment campaign: “Think Global, Act Local”.
A major portion of the project’s fund comes from KfW as soft loan to the Government of India. In the Manipur sector, this fund is channelled to the state government and then to the forest department which is the implementing agency. The latter then works in consultation with GFA and assists in the formation of WRCGs in the project villages, which will carry out the last mile works of regenerating green covers in the hillsides that their villages perched on.
In Manipur in the first phase, the watersheds chosen are Shirui hillside that feeds Thoubal River, Koubru hillsides that feed Imphal River and Kounu/Singda hillsides that feed Nambul river.
Project preparation has been on for several months and actual implementation work will soon be flagged off at three villages in each of these watersheds. They are Shirui, Langdang and Choithar villages in the Shirui watershed; Changoubung, Maohing and Lungphou in the Koubru watershed; and Konsakhul, Kharam Vaiphei and Ireng Naga in the Singda watershed.
In the next seven years, 50 villages in these three watersheds are aimed to be brought under the project coverage. In later stages, more watersheds may also come under the project.