Nagaland Land Resources Dept mitigating climate change

Nagaland Land Resources  Dept mitigating climate change
Water harvesting structure at L Khel, Kohima Village, constructed by the Department of Land Resources under Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP).


Morung Express News
Kohima | December 12


The National Water Mission (NWM) – one of the missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) which was launched in 2009 as a nation-wide effort to tackle climate change – has pointed to the need for sustainable development along with efficient management of water resources.


With studies showing that groundwater levels across India is getting depleted on account of increasing demand for water from a growing population, there is an urgent need for taking measures to minimize the depletion of the groundwater.


The Nagaland State Land Resources Department has taken up various measures and projects across the state to turn forest and other hitherto unused land into productive and thriving ecosystems.


For instance, the Department had constructed two springshed reservoirs less than 500 metres from the 4th NAP Camp at Thizama under Kohima District.


While the Department has data of rainfall of the last one and half year, there is no data to check if the springsheds have helped recharge the ground water. However, locals insist that the springsheds have helped increase the flow of water in the area.


Today, one of the reservoirs serves as a source of drinking water supply for the 80-odd households of the village and also the 4th NAP while the other reservoir is used by locals for washing and other non-potable purposes.


The Department also constructed a Water Harvesting Structure and Desiltation Tank at L. Khel in the outskirts of Kohima town. The construction of this tank has meant yearlong water availability for locals in the vicinity and for farmers having plantations around the mountain.


At the same time, the department has also been encouraging the locals to grow coffee plants.


“Unless we provide alternative livelihood to the villagers, we cannot ask them not to destroy the forest,” views Dr. Menesetuo Tseikha, District Project Officer, Department of Land Resources.


The selection of coffee plant has been done after studying seven thematic layers of the Geographic Information System (GIS) – a computer system which helps to visualize, analyze, and interpret data.


Besides its commercial value, coffee is also environmentally friendly. Coffee is a shade loving plant which means it can be grown without disturbing the existing forests.


As of today, the department in Kohima district alone has given away 16.80 lakhs of coffee plants since it took up such project.


In effect, the Department of Land Resources has helped mitigate the burden of locals by easing their search for potable water and at the same time also helping them earn their livelihood – both adaptations to climate change.
While not a climate change department, the Department of Land Resources has already taken steps towards combating climate change.


[This write up is a part of the “Media Workshop on Climate Change Reporting in the Himalayas” being jointly organised by the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Department of Science and Technology (DST), in collaboration with the Nagaland State Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, State Climate Change Cell, NASTEC; and Centre for Media Studies (CMS). As part of the workshop, the team of journalists and climate experts on Tuesday visited the springshed at Thizama and water de-siltation reservoir at L Khel, Kohima.]