November 6, 2012

2012: Highlight # 32

MGNREGA aims to provide some degree of livelihood security for the poorest by engaging them in public works but can it also provide water security? Malik looks at the quality of MGNREGA water assets...

Efficacy of Employment Generation Programs in Providing Water Security

As assessment of Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Madhya Pradesh

R.P.S. Malik

A majority of the permissible works being carried out under MGNREGS relate to building of assets aimed at enhancing rural water security. The present study attempts to assess how durable these assets have been and how effective MGNREGS has been in helping improve rural water security. The results based on a case study in the state of Madhya Pradesh show that despite the restrictions imposed on non-use of any machinery for construction of structures and several other limitations, the water structures that have been built are of a reasonably good quality and hold a great promise in improving rural water security. There are, however, some impediments in converting water available in these structures into utilizable water. Successful mediation through appropriate intervention strategies can not only enable beneficiary farmers to use the available water more productively, it can also enhance more productive utilization of MGNREGS money invested in asset creation.

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