INSEDA is the main implementing partner on the EVD project and they are responsible for communicating technical knowledge, expertise and training. They work closely with WAFD, among others, who takes care of the mobilization of the projects in the villages and the involvement of women.
The EVD solutions are being promoted from the grassroots level upward. The first step was to create awareness among the communities and the Partners on the subject of climate change. The villagers already experience shifting and reduced monsoon rain, which is disrupting the farming cycle. The second step was to introduce people to the EVD solutions, which mitigate the problems, and which they can adopt. The third step is in progress now. It includes meeting with governmental officials at the district and block levels and telling them about the concept of EVD. These district officials have shown keen interest, and most of the Partners now are invited to participate in the monthly meetings of the District Magistrate. The Partners also are meeting with the elected local governance bodies to inform them of the EVD project and to tell them how they can help by having some funds for EVD solutions, such as water tanks. The fourth step was a National Dialogue Meeting, which was scheduled for June in Uttarakhand to gather experts in climate change, university leaders, key NGOs, and autonomous governmental institutions such as the Forest Research Institute, Pollution Control Board, Soil and Water Conservation Board, and others. The aim is to have recommendations for policy-makers by the end of the day. The recommendations also will be given to local media as well as shared with other stakeholders and decision-makers.
Women in several villages in the mountainous Uttarakhand state are using low-cost solar cook stoves and biogas plants to significantly improve their lives in an eco-friendly manner, which is part of the process of transforming women into climate leaders and make them an intrinsic part of climate mitigation policies. The implemented technologies are significant since they are low-cost and easy to build with low or almost no guidance. They also aim at promoting the pro-poor concept where the income of the poor in the region who are already living a hard life on the mountains grows in comparison to the whole population, which in turn helps beneficiaries to decrease the uncertainty of financial stability. They also address the challenge of sustainable development in economical backward areas of Asia.
The design of the Heera Chulha smokeless cook stoves is such that majority of the smoke goes out and most of the carbon gets filtered through the water bucket kept on the terrace, leaving only a negligible amount of carbon in the air, preventing both indoor and outdoor air pollution. So far, 15 Heera Chulhas have been installed but the plan is to expand it further to 75 chulhas by 2019. The villagers are also being helped in installing biogas plants, which are an environment friendly option, to help trap methane, a greenhouse gas that is ten times worse than carbon dioxide, and save money at the same time.
Another approach has been the rooftop water harvesting structures that were setup in some houses to collect and save the most precious natural resource – water. With the introduction of water harvesting and training in organic farming, women are now also able to turn their kitchen gardens and fields into high yielding spaces, adding to climate resilience and ensuring their food security. Women have been trained to weave compost baskets out of bamboo reeds and almost all the people in five villages – Ranichauri, Savli, Moan, Guriyali and Jagdhar – have replaced the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers with organic farming. This has increased the yield, ensuring economic stability and reducing effort.