Success of two decades

CIRHEP 20 years report 2000-2020

20 years in Review

Many years ago the mismanagement of natural resources, primarily driven by climate change, government policies, and shifts in agricultural practices caused the area around KADAVARUKUCHI reserved forest area to suffer extreme drought. With the green revolution cultivation methods changed from organic to chemical, and when electricity reach the area farmers started using bore wells instead of the traditional bullock. 

This in combination with changes rainfall patterns and change in food habits from millets that could grow on rain water only to more water intense rice , further depleted the groundwater. This caused the farmers on small and marginal farms to struggle with their cultivation which ultimately led to them migrating in search of jobs. In response to these issues, CIRHEP was established. With a focus on building the capacity of the local population and improving the watersheds, soil, and water resources, CIRHEP was formed in 1994. CIRHEP quickly formed crucial partnerships with like-minded organizations such as Future Earth, LIFE, and the local government. By securing funding for watershed projects trough the government, NABARD, CIRHEP successfully implemented soil and water conservation measures, leading to the return of migrated individuals and the rejuvenation of the area. 

Over the past two decades, the implementation of watershed projects and the establishment of women’s empowerment self-help groups supported by the LIFEprogram have yielded remarkable results. Migrated farmers and women have resettled and gained the skills necessary to manage their livelihoods independently.The positive impact on water levels and the collaboration with Future Earth to promote organic farming has revitalized agriculture and improved the microclimate, even attracting new bird species to the area.Trough CIRHEP’s efforts the area has for the last 20 years seen a significant change. With empowered women, organic farmers and a sustainable water source the livelihood in the area has greatly improved.Thus, CIRHEP wants to give a special thanks to their partners

This is CIRHEP

The Center for Improved Rural Health and Environmental Protection (CIRHEP) is an NGO established in 1994 in Nilakottai, Tamil Nadu in Southern India. The organization is working to strengthen the capacity of villages in the Indian countryside to increase the opportunities for the population to be able to live in a sustainable way without having to move to the cities. This is done through several different projects,but where the foundation is about improving the quality of life in a sustainable way in the area.The area around Nilakottai is very exposed to drought and access to water is a major problem. That is why CIRHEP works with water conservation programs in order to be able to take advantage of the water that, when itcomes, comes in large quantities at the same time. This has been the basis of CIRHEPs work since its inception in 1994 and has helped many villages inthe area to take advantage of the water, while the groundwater level isconstantly falling due to climate change.

In addition to the water conservation projects, CIRHEP also works with education at several different levels. On the one hand, they educate the locals about how to take advantage of the natural resources available. They also educate farmers from different parts of India about land and water conversation, and also have a mulle school for children where they learn about nature and climate change, a project built on the exchange of experiences through the Future Earth Network. They also have courses for women on how to increase their power and also create women’s groups so that they can together take loans from banks which is difficult as a single woman.CIRHEP has also since 2002 received trainees as part of the trainees program with Future Earth where they have learned about Indian culture, helped in the joint projects and documented the successes that most of CIRHEP’s projects have been.