I.S.W Making sure the use of water goes to everyone



Access to Water

Activities with Partners



Case Study: SEWA's Drinking water campaign in Gunjarat

Country: India
The organization

SEWA Is A Trade Union registered in 1972. It Is an organization of poor, self-employed women workers. These Are Women Who Earn a Living Through Their Own or plowing Small Business. They Do not Obtain Employment With regular salaried Workers Welfare Benefits like In The Organised Sector. They Are The unprotected labor force of Our Country.

The water campaign

In 1995 SEWA's Rural Development Department Launched a mass mobilization campaign to Increase Membership Through local advocacy for The Basic Needs of Water. The Following Is To Bring Women in the mainstream of Water Sector Development for purpose of Full Employment and self reliance.
The Goals of the campaign

SEWA's Rural Union Leaders Put The Goals of the campaign in followings words:

  •  Clean water is our basic right, We Can not Live Without Water, Our emploi IS Severely Affected Because Of Lack of water, We migrate With Our families and animals, leaving home and hearth Without Water Because We Can not survive, We Want to Develop sources of drinking water in Every Village,

     Women Should Have local control over water sources

  •  We want to collect and save rain water.


Through the efforts Campaigns Water The Gujarat Water and Sanitation Board sanctioned The Construction of roof rainwater harvesting tanks in 1000 and 50 hand-pumps for The First Time Ever.

Case Study: Drinking water in exchange for community ecology

Country: Paraguay
Brief biography of the presenter and his organization

Sara BenitezComing from a peasant family Guarani, Sara Benitez, co-founder of AXIAL, took volunteer coordination programs AXIAL since 1993. The association also enriched his vision in a gender dimension.AXIAL, Naturaleza & CulturaAXIAL Naturaleza y Cultura is an association Paraguayan non-profit organization founded in 1994, following the formation in 1991 of a group of volunteers. It includes poor peasants, Indians, anthropologists, sociologists and technicians, fight against poverty and destruction of resources and works effectively to the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage, human and natural Paraguay.The objective is to implement an innovative strategy to empower the state against the "social debt" that every government owes to its citizens (health, education, justice, electrification, protection of natural and cultural heritage, etc ....). An electrification program has already been achieved in the region Capi'Ivary in exchange for reforestation.AXIAL initially acts in the area Capi'lvary (department of San Pedro), and in areas of Yvyrarovana and Ygatymi (Department Kanindeju). Its operations have spread in several communities in the eastern region of Paraguay and concern to date over 30,000 people.

Physical and social data

The area covered by the project "Drinking Water Exchange in Community Ecology", Yvyrarovana area (28,000 ha) is located in the department of Kanindeju, north east of the eastern region of Paraguay, along the border with Brazil.The population appears to be a heterogeneous group. The indigenous ethnic Chiripa Ava (1400 people) are installed in 9 communities in the region for millennia and coexist with the peasant population Guarani. From several regions, farmers (8000 persons) have been merged since the agrarian reform in Paraguay (1989).Water.The average rainfall are about 1600 mm. It must be noted on the other hand the presence of the largest aquifer in the world: the Parana sedimentary basin, which straddles Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. The project area is located on the outskirts of the aquifer, and drilling a shallow (100 to 200 meters) would suffice to feed the population. The balance between abstraction and recharge of the aquifer is not threatened, and the water is not contaminated.People living from agriculture, hunting and gathering, through development of agro-ecological systems initiated by AXIAL. It should be noted that the resources of this region are mainly of a farm scale (transgenic soybean and maize, cotton).

Main actors involved in the case study

Farmers are the main actors of this participation, but the program intends to integrate interdisciplinary groups. AXIAL encourages people to form committees for cultural development, grouped into regional councils to develop a collective consciousness.Producers, coordinators of committees, representatives of indigenous communities, families and educational units can thus demonstrate their responsibilities effectively, to identify problems, propose debates to explore different alternatives and implement Physical activities and integrated their resolution.

Key Issues

Yvyrarovana area is located in the subtropical forest, also the first issue is the protection of natural resources, particularly biodiversity, rich in this region. On the other hand, we should note the presence of this huge aquifer whose population does not enjoy, which is an unacceptable paradox.The second challenge of this project is the fight against poverty. Yvyrarovana population suffers from a lack of economic resources, the daily income of a family not exceeding 500 Guarani, less than one French franc per day. This is a population that lives below the extreme poverty line. Under the public information also leads to worsening living conditions and consequences on the health situation is worrying.However, there are great opportunities to increase their financial resources if we put forward the region's biodiversity. By establishing agro-ecological, it is the economic autonomy of the population is involved since the project aims to give them manage their resources.They jointly in the protection of cultural heritage: the pan-Guarani culture, present throughout South America, is not confined to this region of Paraguay.This country has been plagued by a succession of dictators more or less aggressive, the most present in our memories is General Stroessner which distinguish her from 1954 to 1989. 18 ethnic groups speaking 14 different languages, these regimes have survived.Since April 1999 the country entered a phase of democratic transition, although the current leader of the government, President Gonzalez Machi is always supported by an army everywhere. International public opinion puts pressure on the government to obtain greater democratic pluralism and social justice accessible to the poor, but the process remains difficult to implement.

Citizen-centered approach

The active participation of the population AXIAL projects has created a community council Yvyrarovna regional headquarters of meetings on training and situational analysis. It consists of 22 committees of farmers and representatives of the Guarani Indian Chiripa Ava. Thus, the population seeks to negotiate with one voice with the state. As part of this project to supply drinking water, communities have embarked on several points:

  • Protection of the forest (3.5 ha per family) and land reclamationProtection of water sources, sorting household wasteEstablishment of agro-ecological (Agroforest, crop diversification, increased bio-availability of food)Establishment of community nurseries and gardens of organic farming in schools, to recover the biodiversity
  • 40 000 trees planted around houses, roads, schools etc..

Some wells and water towers were built in 1993, but rampant corruption has once again led to a fiasco, new wells are still desperately dry.These results ecologically highlight the need for dissemination of information: they are both ancestral knowledge that it can reintroduce and innovative techniques, which tends to highlight the cultural heritage while the enriching a modern knowledge. Sanitary conditions were substantially improved as a result of collective awareness. The ambition is to expand AXIAL then these actions in other countries of South America.To ensure voluntary participation, AXIAL supports training programs in ecology productive local coordinators and insists on training to young generations: the enhancement of traditional knowledge involving an awareness of their rich cultural heritage. By mobilizing their capacities to find solutions to everyday problems and contribute to the preservation of cultural identity, children must become worthy of civic responsibility in relation to the environment.

Relationship between actors

The relationship between communities and government are based on the strategy of AXIAL, trade (Jopoi tekohare in Guarani): social debt owed by the state to its poor citizens, in exchange for community ecology preserving natural resources .The support of the beneficiaries is essential, and Axial has a relationship of trust: thousands of families have chosen to partner with its programs. Practically, the commitments are negotiated and defined by each party: people, state and international agencies. The agreements are quantified, dated, signed and their results are evaluated, but financial difficulties have no place in discussions with the donation system cons donation.

Financing Case

The original financial AXIAL, with its strategy of giving, provides an important contribution associated populations. It makes maximum contributions of social capital, cultural and natural heritage, based on tangible, visible and quantifiable.On the other hand, in 1998 UNICEF has funded two research studies on the geology and hydrology of the region, and the conditions of health and the environment, with information on the physico-biological environment, socio-economic and their alterations. The proposed water supply is based on these studies, which AXIAL received a contribution of $ 9 000. In October 1999, France Libertés has sent aid amounting to $ 72,000 to support local missions and administrative costs.

Key lessons learned and

AXIAL strategy is a new development approach that takes into account aspects of a comprehensive economic, social and cultural, what seems to be essential to ensure the sustainability of actions.First, we must stress the fundamental role of these populations in their development. Therefore AXIAL focused for almost 10 years to have local actions in order to obtain a very high social trust. Access to information is fundamental, and that is why training programs are essential in the shares, to establish laboratories for independent initiatives.People must make their contribution, it is essential to have a global vision on all aspects of development, and creating structures in which everyone can discuss problems and possible solutions is the first step towards a collective awareness an ecological culture.To guarantee economic autonomy of the cultural identityAXIAL focuses on improving sustainable production conditions to help people to assert their economic independence. Planning for a diversified farming appears to be the appropriate solution on the one hand to meet food needs, and secondly to assist in maintaining an environment conducive to agriculture.The relationship with the environment have always been at the heart of Aboriginal traditions, through programs that respects their cultural identity the Indian struggle against poverty with dignity. The system cons of giving gift is suitable for those people who do not have the same value system, where the exchange is not based solely on market value.Overcoming daily obstaclesAXIAL worked with its own resources for years, with a strong contribution of the people, and eventually lead to meaningful results in line with sustainable development. But the financial contributions are essential, both in time and space. It should be noted that obtaining funds to acquire institutional independence and a strong projection of projects is a very complicated task. Negotiations with international cooperation, too bureaucratic, suffer from a lack of complicity.The major obstacle to the promotion of an innovative program, which results yet, so the difficulty is getting the help of international cooperation.

Contact in Paris:

Guillermo Sequera and Stephane Denhez
France-Libertés Fondation Danielle Mitterrand
22, rue de Milan
75009 Paris - France
Tel: 01 53 25 10 40E Mail: Ffl@wanadoo.fr

Case Study: Water Harvesting Activities for Ensuring Water Supply to Citizens in the West Bank and Gaza

Country: Palestine

Presenter biography and historical organization

The present is Dr. Abdellatif Mohammed, head of Irrigation & Environment Dept. (PARC). PARC Is A pioneering Palestinian NGO in the Field of Agriculture and Rural Development. Its field of activity covers The Palestinian Territories Both in Gaza and the West Bank.

Case Study Area

The area Covered in this case study includes The Mountainous and semi-coastal areas "in the West Bank & the Coastal Areas in Gaza. This covers about 25% Of The Palestinian Territories (~ 1500 sq. Kilometers).


The Rural People In The Above Mentioned Are The Areas of Our target activities. Their Number is around 800.000 habitants.

Water Profile

The Climate In The aforementioned areas "varies from semi-wet to semi-arid. The height of precipitation varied Between 200 and 550 mm / year. The ground water areas "Is the thesis in hand source. However, the Occupation Authorities Düring More Than 30 Years Have Hindered The Access to this resource and till now not less Than 20% Of The Population In The Palestinian rural areas "are not connected to water network.The Annual Renewable Water Resources in the West Bank ranges Between 550 and 700 million cubic meters. However, Israelis and settlers in the West Bank consumes about 90% of thesis consumes resources & the Palestinians The Rest.

Main Economic Activity

The Hand In The activity area of study Is The agriculture. However, agriculture has Witnessed continuous deterioration. In early days of Israeli occupation, agriculture Formed Between 30% and 35% of the People returned. In 1994, the Agriculture Did Not Provide More Than 19% Of The GNP In The Palestinian territories. Many people practice activities: industrial, commercial and tourism activities. However, one source of The Major revenu pour l'people Comes From The work in Israel and from fund transfer from In The The Palestinian Diaspora.

Main Interveners in the Case Study

Water harvesting Is A very ancient practice in Palestine. In the Mountainous Areas of this region, this practice WAS One Of The Factors Behind the flourishing of ancient civilizations Such as That Of The Canaanite. The facilities for water harvesting, pools and cisterns Are Still Witnessing The Great efforts in this field. At present The Main Actors in this field are the local community, Palestinian NGOs (PARC, PHG, and others), International NGOs, EU and others.

Major Issues

Ensuring water for Both domestic and Agricultural Purposes IS of paramount importance pour la In The Palestinian rural areas ". The tight control of the Israel On The Palestinian water resources this job Makes Quite difficult. The procedure for Connecting to "any village water Network is a very long one & the permission to connect villages to this network is Not Always Issued By The Israeli Authorities. After about 6 Years of the peace process, The Transfer of Authority on Palestinian water resources has not yet Been Done and it has been "postponed To The Final Settlement Agreement.The back Of The Population In These regions IS Rather low (~ 1200-1300 $ / capita / year). Ensuring water for fins domestiques Düring summer Becomes A Real Burden to families.The cost of one cubic meter of fresh water Costs about $ 4. Poor families are in the MOST cable boxes are not to Ensure the minimum volume of water for Surviving and Necessary Necessary hygiene.The harvested water, Which Is Used For Both drinking and Agricultural Purposes, In The forms Some Part of the area studied The Main source of fresh water. The Water pumped from wells in Gaza Strip due to brackish Became Rather excessive pumping & the Israeli water works and water is Wadi Gaza pumping from wells Surrounding Gaza. Therefor, harvested rainwater in this area Cdn aussi Become an important drive for crop diversification.

People's Approach

Water harvesting practices are rooted deep in The Indigenous culture. In the past collective rainwater harvesting in huge Rather Pool was practiced together with private individual "cisterns. Rainwater Harvesting Collective Is Still practiced in villages not connected to water network to Ensure the supply of collective communal Premises Such as mosques, churches and schools. Individual cisterns, whether Constructed In The traditional pear shaped ones gold cubic Rather modern ones, are now more common. Usually domestic cisterns harvest the Water From the roofs of houses and Agricultural harvest rainwater from Prepared ones shed areas "to provide a copy of thesis filling cisterns. New practices of rainwater harvesting in Irrigated Agriculture in frequent Became The Last Few Years. In this case IS rainwater harvested from the Roof of green houses. Harvested water formed The major part of Water Used In These green houses. In Gaza, Where the salinity of water restricting IS The Crop diversification, harvested rainwater from the Roof of the green houses Became a Major engine pour la crop diversification. With this mixing water brackish Rather one Maximize The Value Of The Later. The Program for Supporting Rainwater Harvesting Focus on Marginalized, active and Women Farmers. Women Always Supporting Families are advantageous.Working with Farmers in the Field of Water harvesting, from the Roof of green houses, weekends Always Farmers encourages gathering and organization in order to solve Their common problem.

Relationship Between groups Involved

Implementation of this program in rural areas "SEVERAL AIMS to Achieve Objective:

  1. Empower local community-through Their Mobilization for solving One Of The Major Issues in Their Lives (water supply).Build a real partnership Between The local NGO, International ones, & the local community, Through the Supporting activities and follow That Accompany The Implementation Of The program Such as training and Other Building Capacity in the Field of Community Groups organism.
  2. Build real cooperation Between NGOs and Local Authorities and Central Governmental organs working in the Field.

Funding of the Case Study

"During the Last Three Years a number of European NGOs and EU Agencies are Actively Involved With PARC in Supporting Programs of rainwater harvesting activities for Both Agricultural and domestic purposes. People Are Highly Appreciating this program and They Are Involved in It With Enthusiasm.The Contribution Of The Local People in the achievement of this program IS Quite essential. Their contribution in the Construction of cisterns varies Between 50% and 75% of the total cost. Their contribution IS Both cash and in-kind. That "during the Drought Affected The Palestinian territories and the Middle East in general, In The last year, and more Donors Became Involved in Funding this program. Water harvesting structures in addition to rainwater harvesting icts importance for Cdn year Provide excellent storage facility for Ensuring the permanent water supply for the People.

Major Findings and Lessons


  1. Rainwater harvesting IS Deeply Rooted in indigenous Palestinian culture.
  2. Rainwater harvesting at small scale (cisterns and pools) has-been ADOPTED by Palestinians to Avoid Barriers Imposed by the Israel In The Palestinian Occupied Territories.Rainwater harvesting from the Roof of green houses CAN GIVE A Great Push To The Irrigated Agriculture in the Palestinian territories.Rainwater harvesting from the Roof of Green Houses Will not Affect The aquifer recharge Because Of The Generally this water evaporate Before Reaching the aquifer.Rainwater harvesting encourages crop diversification in areas "Suffering From The high salinity of Water Used in Irrigation.In The Mountainous Agricultural cisterns Can Play An Important Role in Reducing The vulnerability of fruit trees to The Heights of fluctuation of rainfall.Rainfall in Agricultural harvesting cisterns May Provide The Mean rainfed agriculture for making more profitable and encourages cultivation of Mountainous Land. This Will Prevent land desertification due to soil erosion and human desertification.
  3. Rainfall harvesting has-been one large scale prohibée by Israelis. However, They Are Practicing It in the Palestinian territories for The Benefit of settlers (Jordan Valley to the East of Al-Fara'ah).