Morigaon Mahila Mehfil (MMM)

Project Theme

Disaster Risk Reduction

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Jul 2016 - 26 Mar 2017

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Introduction

The north east region of India is not new to the devastation brought about by floods.  Each year, the mighty Brahmaputra River traversing across the length of Assam causes huge destruction and irreparable loss to the state’s economy which is largely agrarian during monsoon season.

Several areas –The district of Morigaon - is ranked as some of the most flood prone districts in the State. There are highly vulnerable flood prone pockets within these districts that are exposed to hydro-meteorological hazards, such as floods and erosion and, since 2004, have faced severe catastrophic floods in 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012 and most recently in 2015. There is also a high presence of socially and economically vulnerable communities in these districts. 

Floods, flash floods, river-bank erosion, and sand casting (deposition of large amounts of sand by flood water) are the most frequent water- induced hazards in the eastern Brahmaputra basin in Assam. The history of floods for the villagers in this region is also the history of the erosion of the south bank of the Brahmaputra River. The combined impact of floods and land erosion has resulted in some villages disappearing altogether and migration of the displaced to new locations along the river. 

A predominantly agrarian region, vulnerability to floods is very high. Flooding has inflicted the greatest harm to the communities in the district of Morigaon. Thousands of people, livestock and property are affected every year. Large tracts of land in Morigaon district are also affected severely by soil erosions. The consequences of these disasters on lives, livelihoods, property and environment can last up to months, often eroding hard-won assets of individuals, hindering human development. The poor and socially disadvantaged groups face greater stress when managing the impact of natural disasters, since they are the least equipped to cope up with the situation. Without better economic options and with continuous depletion of their assets, the poor are forced to live in vulnerable areas prone to flooding and erosions or in shelters unable to withstanding long water logging or strong winds. The situation aggravate during monsoon time every year.

 

About the Project: 

Four key areas of intervention support the programme design: 

  • Increasing community disaster preparedness through capacity and institution building
  • Improving availability of safe water, sanitation facilities and improved hygiene during floods
  • Increasing food security and reducing loss of livelihoods during floods.
  • Investing in advocacy to build collaborative linkages between key stakeholders (community, government, partner NGOs) to ensure programme interventions are relevant, representative, and sustainable

 

These interventions, will collectively, facilitate a fundamental shift among the disaster affected population:  from dependency on relief to proactive preparedness and protection – all the while paying close attention to the interests of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in the community.  

 

Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

Specific Objective 1: Increase target community’s (30 villages) capability to anticipate and prepare for natural disasters (flooding) through knowledge, awareness and training – with a special focus on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable (women and people with disability)

Outcome 1.1 Increased capacity of target community to identify disaster risk and take appropriate action to reduce community vulnerability

Outcome 1.2.  Improved capacity of Oxfam Partner in implementing DRR projects through training; enable partner staff to work with the government, civil society and communities to plan and implement DRR models that aim at reducing community vulnerability (especially of women) to disaster risk

Specific Objective 2:  To substantially improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions for the target community of 30 villages – with particular focus on addressing needs of women and people with disability

Outcome 2.1   Men, women and children in the target population have increased access to, and make optimal use of safe water and hazard resilient sanitation facilities.

Outcome 2.2 Target communities demonstrate improved hygiene practices and take action to protect themselves against threats to public health in a dignified and culturally appropriate manner during a disaster 

Specific Objective 3: To improve food security and support livelihood of target communities in 30 villages by providing productive assets, protecting livelihood assets, and building resilience in maintaining productive assets even when disrupted by disasters. 

Outcome 3.1 Target communities are resilient to livelihood shocks through improved agriculture and off-farm livelihood protection initiatives during flood & food security initiatives during non-flood/Rabi season.

Outcome 3.2 Target communities have increased resilience to protect their livestock assets during floods

Specific Objective 4: To strengthen government, civil society, and community action for disaster risk reduction in order to enable communities, government and CSOs to identify, plan and act for reducing the vulnerabilities of communities to disasters.

Outcome 4. 1  Target communities are accessing and benefiting from government relief schemes

 

Outcomes: The project has so far achieved:

  • Conducted 30 community capacity building trainings for Village Disaster Management Committee on early warning, first aid, search and rescue and camp management.
  • Eighteen mock drills per year were conducted by the VDMCs along with partner staff (in coordination with civil defence department in some of the simulation exercises) in all the programme areas. 
  • In the first two years of this phase-II, 10 raised hand pumps and 17 raised online chlorination hand pumps were installed with GPS coordinate mapping in Morigoan district and uploaded on Thank You Water App. Trainings have been held for WASH committee members on safe usage/storage of water, chlorination of hand pumps, and linkages around water testing, and maintenance of hand pumps
  • Constructed two model raised toilet-cum-bath room for ensuring sanitation facilities during flood situation for the community. Based on the utility and usefulness of the model it will be advocated for replicated in other villages by NGOs or Govt. organization
  • 800 families from 11 target villages were provided with critical family water treatment units (water filter system). These units are low cost and easy to maintain which communities can use for water treatment during both flood and non-flood times. 
  • A Total of 56 trainings have been conducted by partner staff on capacity building of WASH committee members and school PHP. Committee members are trained on public health promotion messages, chlorination of hand pumps, and monsoon preparedness. 
  • 400 hand pumps were chlorinated in the reporting period with the involvement of WASH committee members. 
  • As part of livelihood generation, 60 vulnerable women were trained and provided Kitchen Garden support consisting of Coriander, chilli, cabbage, radish, and beans seeds and for 50 women supported for dry fishing.

 

 

CASE STUDY

 

Bhantimoni Deka – a change agent in WASH 

Name - Bhantimoni Deka, Age: 35 yrs, qualification: Non Matric, Occupation: House wife

Marital status: Married

Village & P. O: Lengeribori

Dev. Block – Laharighat

Dist- Morigaon Assam

Name of the organisation – Morigaon Mahila Mehfil, Morigaon

 

Introduction: 

Bhantimoni Deka enjoys following a busy daily routine. Her day start very early. After completing all the household work which includes cooking, cleaning etc. she supports her husband in farming and also utilizes whatever time she gets in weaving cloths for her own and for the family. Despite the heavy daily schedule because of her enthusiasm she was chosen as WASH member in 2014. Initially she was a bit hesitant to share the good practices of health and hygiene with others in the community as she was afraid that they will not listen to her. 

When Oxfam partner MMM intervened in this village, the community was unaware of the benefits of maintaining cleanliness and safe hygienic practices. Partner staff conducted capacity building training on WASH for the community and Bhantimoni also attended the training. Later she also received training on chlorination of maintenance of water sources.

She has now developed as one of the key persons in creating and conducting awareness programme on WASH. She is a very popular WASH member of the village. She enjoys the status of ASHA worker in the community. 

As preparedness for monsoons, she chlorinates her own hand pump and also chlorinates the RHP in the community installed by Oxfam to ensure availability of safe water for all. She is now a role model for the community in WASH.

Beneficiary Quote: There has been attitudinal change in most of the families on WASH after the intervention of Oxfam and MMM in the Village.