“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.”- Leo Tolstoy
KSSS has been partnering with local communities to restore and enhance the productivity of the natural resource based in high land and low land areas in 5 civil districts. Rejuvenation of land, water and forests plays a major role in strengthening sustainable livelihoods, fostering social solidarity and conserving the ecology in a much degraded region.
Natural Resource Management (NRM) refers to the sustainable utilization of major natural resources, such as land, water, air, minerals, forests, fisheries, and wild flora and fauna. Together, these resources provide the ecosystem services that provide better quality to human life. Natural resources provide fundamental life support, in the form of both consumptive and public-good services.
Natural resources the very foundation of human survival, progress and prosperity, have been degrading fast due to the Over‐exploitation by growing population. It resulted in land degradation, denudation, soil erosion, landslides, floods, drought and unbalanced ecosystems. Natural Resource Management (NRM) promotes an awareness of the connection between environmental systems and the social sciences.
Conservation and proper management of natural resources is extremely important for co-existence of man and environment. The continued deforestation, encroaching and lack of vegetative cover made easy flow of rainwater downward, erasing the loose fertile topsoil. The rainfall reduced drastically, seasons changed and water pollution increased considerably. KSSS has been promoting watershed programmes in the Idukki District with an objective of making the project community conscious of the need of following practices like stone bund, soil bund, vegetative barrier, gully plugging ,contour building, renewal of well and renovation of traditional water sources for the conservation and management of natural resources for the ecological balance.
Gully plugs are provided for the soil conservation and to check uncontrolled transportation of sediments to lower reaches through gullies. During heavy precipitation the run-off through Gullies are checked flooding the downstream could be avoided. We have provided subsidy to build 2300 meter cube gully plugs in Rajakkad Panchyath in Idukki district under the project of CAPART
The volume of water in the springs and streams are decreasing and some has perished, dried up, due to the decrease in the rain fall and creeping up of drought. The increasing drought is now challenging even the existence of living beings. It is highly essential to preserve the natural springs and streams for the existence. The study conducted in the operational area found to be felt need of the area to preserve these natural blessings. We have developed 491 traditional water harvesting structures in the operational area and made them more useful and perennial.
Catch water pits are trenches with more width, depth and length. The catch water pits are proposed for the area where water flow is severe. The catch Water pits serves to infiltrate water in to earth as well as to collecting the running topsoil. The silt is found rich in organic context which could be applied as organic manure effectively.
With the object of creating awareness on natural resources and capacitating the public we have organized different programs for the public. The programmes organized as part of the awareness creation is as follows:
Watershed management is not only a practice but also a philosophy based on socio- economic and political justice. It is an environmentally sound and ideal approach for a community based participatory development action. Watershed management is advocated by developmentalists as a permanent solution to the recurring drought and flood which create a host of socio-economic problems in our country. Watershed management means management of the watershed and all its resources by the people, for the people, to produce all their basic requirements for the existence and development
We have given training to farm club members on watershed conservation and development programmes. Soil conservation measures like afforestation multi-crop cultivation, social forestry, vegetative barrier and fodder cultivation, scientific agricultural practices, water harvesting measures like trenches, counter bunding, soil and mud bunding, gully plugging, check dams, roof water harvesting were promoted in the operational areas.
Conservation and management of natural resources are extremely important for the co-existence of man and environment. Adopting simple life style in harmony with the nature and natural resources is necessary for man’s secure life. Optimum exploitation of natural resources without its protection always leads to disaster. As a step of environmental protection awareness creation on Eco- Friendly farming, Rainwater harvesting, Bio fertilizers, control measures for soil erosion, Reforestation and social forestry etc are being promoted. It has created awareness on environmental tragedies and precaution to be taken to protect the environment
Tree is a boon to man. To protect the environment and the bio-diversity deforestation must be stopped and reforestation must be promoted. As a step to it KSSS promotes awareness classes and planting of trees. About 156000 trees were distributed through the SHG groups in 80 villages of Kottayam,Idukki,Alappuzha,Pathnamthitta and Idukki Districts.
To protect the environment from the aggressive and harmful usage of plastic, KSSS introduced paper bag and cloth bag as an effective and eco-friendly substitute for plastic bags. By the timely intervention of KSSS, paper bags and cloth bags were widely accepted as a suitable alternative throughout its operational villages. Advantages of paper bag and cloth bags:-
In association with the Energy Management Center and with the relevance of energy protection and conservation, KSSS distributed solar lamps to 7360 SHG members at a subsidy rate. The cheap price, the high quality light, the durability of the lanterns, and the length of time the battery lasts are all key features for the product to be to be significant. Solar lanterns are not only cheaper, but they are also brighter and do not pose any fire or health hazard. This is also an alternate solution to the increasing electricity charges.
Smokeless Choolah is an improved version of traditional Choolah and has many advantages over it. KSSS promotes smokeless choolahs and awareness about the benefits of using Smokeless Choolah over traditional Choolah among SHG members. There is need for imparting more knowledge to women about Smokeless Choolahs and its usefulness like its non-hazards effect on health of all family members. The main aim behind the concept is that people are healthy then only society will progress.
Biogas technology has proved to be very successful since it not only produces gas for household purposes but also provides good fertilizers in the form of digested slurry. The construction of biogas plants by a greater number of people has been the result of standardization of design, an extensive system of quality control and financial incentive provided to the users for the installation of biogas plants. In Kerala, animal and herbal wastes are durnped directly or they are used as compost for preparing soil. But it is more common to burn wastes for heat production. Biogas production provides storage for organic wastes under controllable –suitable conditions.
Global issues like global warming, climate change, deforestation, loss of habitats, wildlife trafficking unsustainable agricultural practices, pollution and excessive usage of chemical pesticides have brought detrimental changes to the planet. As part of Navajeevan Project taken up by KSSS in association with Caritas India, an Awareness Campaign to Protect Nature titled ‘Bhoomikkorukuda’was launched. Adv. Yedhu Krishnan (Municipal Councillor, Ettumanoor) inaugurated the programme held at St. Sebastian UP School, Peroor. Mr Thomaskutty K. Mavelil (Programme Officer, KSSS) led the seminar on the topic‘Sanitation Practices’. Distribution of tree saplings, pamphlets and taking of a pledge to conserve Mother Earth were taken on the occasion.
In a long term perspective of sustainable development, stone bunds that were destroyed by the floods were repaired under the Haritha Samrudhy programme. 72 households from Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulamand ldukki districts benefited under the programme which cost Rs.10, 80,000/ (Rupees Ten Lakhs Eighty thousand).
One of the significant activities in the initial part of the Flood Rehabilitation phase was the cleaning of the wells. KSSS collaborated with Oxfam India to clean and restore contaminated wells. The campaign was necessary to prevent the contagious spread of diseases in the flood affected areas. The activities included removing silt and sediment using motor, chlorination, sand pumping and white-washing of the wells.
As part of the ‘Urjakiran’ energy conservation awareness campaign, Classes and video presentations were conducted in Kaduthuruthy Block Panchayath, Ettumanoor Municipality, Primary Health Centre, Kumarakom, Athirampuzha Panchayath and Sales Tax Office, Nagampadam. Handbooks were also distributed on the occasion. The classes were led by Mr. Thomaskutty K. Mavelil (Programme Coordinator).KSSS team members also conducted awareness classes for government officials.
Energy conservation refers to reducing energy consumption through using less of an energy service. Energy conservation helps not only to reduce energy services but also it can result in increased environmental quality, national security, personal financial security and higher savings. With the aim to spread the idea of the significance of energy conservation, Kottayam Social Service Society in association with Energy Management Centre and ANERT organized seminar on the topic “Save Energy, Save Earth, Save Life”. Mr. Kannan P (Programme Officer, ANERT) and Mrs. Mercy Stephen (Resource Person) lead the sessions on the seminar. Adv. Mons Joseph (MLA) inaugurated the programme held at Samaritan Resource centre, Cherpukal on February15, 2018. Around 120 SHG leaders from KSSS Kidangoor Region took part in the seminar and received Handbooks on Energy Conservation.