Rosa Sengl - Field work, Madurai
In September and October 2022, I have been to Madurai to conduct the field work for my Master´s thesis at DHAN Foundation.
News from Dec 16, 2022
The NGO does renovation work at irrigation tanks in Tamil Nadu. These interventions are important to maintain the storage capacity and uphold their function. The aim of my thesis is to evaluate the impact of DHANs interventions on the socio-economic situation of small-scale farmers
Due to the hydrological characteristics of the Indian rainy season, it is necessary to store rainwater for use in the dry season. Traditional tank irrigation in the drylands of India have served to meet the water needs of the population for more than 2000 years. They also serve domestic use. They provide water for humans and animals, and function as a habitat for fish, thus enhancing biodiversity. They also provide protection against flooding and contribute to groundwater recharge.
When not restored on a regular basis, their storage capacity is decreasing. Due to climate change and the associated extreme weather events, as well as the growing population, larger storage capacities are needed. The farmers were interviewed to measure the impact of tank measures on their socioeconomic situation and analyze the relationship between tank irrigation and groundwater use. They were asked questions about demographic data, land holding, well use, crop cycles and irrigation practices, as well as yields and income Thus, a comprehensive picture of the challenges of the irrigation structures in the study area emerged and theories of interrelationships in the catchment area were developed.
Through the journey to Madurai and the cooperation with the local NGO I have been able to gain insight into the irrigation practices of the farmers and learn a lot about local irrigation structures. I would like to thank the DAAD for funding my exchange and making this possible.