HUL partners with MITTRA for water conservation project in Nashik

120 tribal families in Nashik district have, benefit from this water conservation project.

An estimated 120 tribal families in Nashik district have, benefited from the Water conservation project initiated jointly by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and Maharashtra Institute of Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (MITTRA), an NGO promoted by Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF). The farmers each contribute Rs 300 towards the project, which is a public-private partnership involving local communities, while HUL contributes Rs l,000 for every participating farmer.

The project is a part of HUL's Sustainable Living Plan and aims to help tribals adopt improved agricultural practices that promote effective utilisation of water. The project is expected to deliver results over five years and benefit 900 families in the region. At the end of five years the project aims to create an additional 287 acres of cultivable land in these villages, increase crop production by 50 per cent, and generate employment.

Construction of check dams for irrigation, spring development to provide drinking water for human consumption as well as animals, construction of bunds, and seeding, and planting on the bunds are some of the other activities under the project. The water harvesting and utilisation project (spring development) costs Rs 1.98 lakh while the check damn project costs Rs 8.11 lakh. A spring water facility which has been developed in Sonashi village supplies 70,000 litres a day and serves 50 families. The Spring water facility is cleaned every week by the villagers. The children in the village now fall ill less frequently.

Hindustan Unilever has been working for more than a decade in the area of water conservation in partnership with NGOs and local communities across the country, in locations which face acute water shortage. The success of these projects has been driven by establishing public-private partnerships involving the local communities. This has helped to not only sustain these projects but also to scale them. HUL has initiated projects in several states in India that will help to conserve more than 50 billion litres of water by 2015.

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