ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


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ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

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Community Led Action Plan (CLAP) for Climate Resilient Water Security In four tea gardens of Darjeeling and Kurseong

What we are doing

Research on the pressing challenges of accessing water for tea estate workers and their families in Darjeeling and Kurseong reveals that the scarce resource is subject to degradation through extensive use of fertilizer, pesticides, and agrochemicals by the tea gardens and indiscriminate disposal of waste along the mountain slopes and often into the streams. Since some sources of water are available seasonally, there is greater likelihood of them being degraded during the dry spells. Apart from quality and quantity, reliable access to water is challenging as well with multiple competing uses for the same sources of water. The situation has been further aggravated due to climate change. Climate impacts of decreased rainfall and increased temperatures in the northern part of West Bengal are well recorded in the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), 2010 and the West Bengal State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC), 2017. Such changes are not conducive for tea cultivation and has resulted in increased dependency on local water reserves, natural streams and reservoirs. More often than not, access to water is subject to an unwritten hierarchy wherein the indigenous community and the tea estate workers are at the bottom rung. Time and labour-intensive practice of fetching water from faraway places, impacts women, in particular, from these communities.

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How we are tracking

- Community led and managed water security plans institutionalized in at least 4 tea estates and adopted by the local governments in the region. - A cohort of barefoot hydrogeologists including women, formed and institutionalized in the region who can eventually not only identify local water issues, but also design and implement interventions to address such issues and act as local ambassadors for water resource management. - Locally responsive water conservation measures implemented collaboratively by local communities, local governments, and tea estate management. - Creation of a societal platform for local communities and tea estate management to engage and influence the local governments for safe and sustainable water resources.

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What we are achieving

The Community Led Action Plan (CLAP) project for Climate Resilient Water Security in the tea gardens of North Bengal proposes to develop a collaborative platform for local government, tea estate management, local NGOs and communities (particularly women from indigenous and migrant communities) in 4 tea estates of Darjeeling and Kurseong. The aim is to work together to enhance the quality and quantity of water resources and improve water security in the region. The project will train and build capacity of a cadre of barefoot hydrogeologists from the local communities to institutionalise community led and managed water security plans, that can act as a role model for the region. The specific objectives of the project include: - To mobilise and build capacity of local indigenous community and migrant tea estate workers as barefoot hydrogeologists. - To improve overall water availability and equitable access to water. - To create an institutional platform for overall management and robust monitoring .

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