Watershed Program

Watershed Program (1979 – 2002)
The issues in Natramapalayam and surrounding hilly areas were partially attributed to the limited and unpredictable rainfall. In order to find enough water to cultivate the land and provide for themselves and their livestock, the inhabitants of the region were required to migrate regularly. The frequent migration put severe strain on the old and young, and the inconsistency of the crop harvests led to malnutrition and starvation.

In 1979 IVDP initiated a watershed program along an area of hills in the Denkanikottai and Thally Blocks. This involved the planning and construction of 92 major and 239 minor check dams, built across streams or gullies in the hilly region. From 1979 - 1985 Oxfoam funded for check dams and from 1986 - 2002 NCOs, Belgium gave funds for constructing check dams.

The check dams are designed to retain monsoon rains, leading to increased groundwater levels, and storing water for the irrigation, livestock, and domestic requirements of the villagers.
The check dams constructed resulted in groundwater levels rising by 40 feet leading to successful harvests throughout the year. It has also created water stores allowing the inhabitants to isettle in their native villages. The benefits are being appreciated by 40,000 people across 60 villages in the Denkanikottai and Thally Blocks.