Nongbah Nongnah is located in the South West Khasi Hills District, approximately 40 kilometers from Mawkyrwat, which serves as the headquarters of the district. It is the oldest village in the Nongnah area, comprising a total of 45 households.
The people of Nongbah Nongnah are primarily engaged in farming activities, keeping them busy throughout the year. They cultivate crops such as broomstick, pepper, oranges, and areca nut on a large scale. Broomstick cultivation is their main source of income.
The Community Led Landscape Management Project (CLLMP) has been actively engaged in the South West region for five years, collaborating with numerous communities. However, the people of Nongbah Nongnah have left a lasting impression on the District Project Management Unit (DPMU) team. The team observed that the residents of this village are hardworking and sincere, making them one of the most dedicated communities the team has worked with, even among non-CLLMP villages.
Their unwavering determination, tireless hard work, and strong will are evident in their efforts, making them deserving recipients of the Catalytic Fund. This fund is awarded to villages that show great potential in natural resources management, and Nongbah Nongnah has exemplified these qualities.
Fig: Overview of Nongbah Nongnah Village
Earlier Case Finding
Mot Chaw Long, the first residents of Nongbah Nongnah, is from the Clan (Kur) Lyngkhoi. The clan elders have erected stones in the heart of the village to commemorate Long Lyngkhoi as the ‘mother’ of the Lyngkhoi clan in Nongbah Nongnah. As writing was not known during that time, this was their way of honoring her and preserving her name for eternity. This serves as a poignant reminder of the village’s history and heritage, honoring the legacy of Long Lyngkhoi in the community.
Phot Riat, a source of water founded by the forefathers of the village, is likely the only perennial spring water in Nongbah Nongnah. Even until March, the water remains and refills enough for villagers to scoop water with mugs or bowls. However, fetching water from Phot Riat is not an easy task, as it takes about half an hour for a woman or child from the center of the village to reach the spring. The name “Phot Riat” in the local dialect roughly translates to “a spring in a steep hill” which accurately describes its location on a very steep hill.
Unfortunately, there has been a tragic incident where a lady from the village fell to her death while fetching water from Phot Riat due to the steep cliff on the hill. Despite this, the villagers have not stopped relying on this water source for drinking and cooking, as it remains their main source of water. This highlights the villagers’ dependence on and resilience in accessing this precious resource, despite the challenges and risks associated with it.
The Village Executive Committee (VEC) of Nongbah Nongnah, with a strong determination to seek assistance, approached the CLLMP office in Mawkyrwat after hearing about CLLMP from neighboring villages that were part of the project. The DPMU team visited Nongbah Nongnah and conducted site inspections. After extensive discussions and brainstorming sessions with the VEC members who accompanied them, solutions and ideas were formulated to address the hardships faced by the villagers. Once everything was finalized by the team, the planned ideas were put into action.
The collaborative effort between the CLLMP team and the VEC resulted in the realization of the proposed solutions, turning them into reality. The proactive approach of the VEC and the support of the CLLMP team enabled the implementation of the planned initiatives to tackle the challenges faced by the people of Nongbah Nongnah. This demonstrates the positive impact that can be achieved through effective partnership and community-led initiatives.
|Type of Intervention||Site Name||Area||Amount Sanctioned||Work Status|
|Plantation Work||Mot Chaw Long||0.5 ha (approx..)||56,250||Completed|
|Check Dam||Synrang Manai||2 (approx..)||4,36,550||Completed|
|Spring Chamber||Phot Riat||45 HH + neighbouring Village||1,36,470||Completed|
|Boulder Bund Boxes||Mot Chaw Long||0.1(approx..)||1,09,520||Completed|
|Safety Rails||Phot Riat||45 HH + neighbouring Village||2,48,110||Completed|
|Half Moon Terrace||Mot Chaw Long||1 (approx..)||22,240||Completed|
As part of the proposed solutions, plantation works, boulder bund boxes, and half-moon terraces were implemented at Mot Chaw Long to preserve the area, as there was a concern that over time the area might be forgotten and destroyed. The community of Nongbah Nongnah showed immense interest and worked hard on these activities, recognizing the importance of preserving the area for future generations.
The community members even took the initiative to dress the stones themselves that were used for the boulder bund, adding aesthetic beauty to the area. The half-moon terraces were created for planting trees, which would help retain moisture and facilitate the easy application of fertilizers and manures, promoting healthy growth of plants.
The team, in collaboration with the Village Executive Committee (VEC), identified water scarcity as the main problem faced by the community due to the rocky terrain that prevents water from seeping underground. After thorough site inspections, Synrang Manai was chosen as the location for a check dam to address this issue. The check dam was constructed with the aim of storing water during summers, which can be used for domestic purposes during the winter season. Additionally, the check dam would help in recharging groundwater and replenishing underground aquifers, contributing to long-term water sustainability in the area.
The community of Nongbah Nongnah wholeheartedly supported the construction of the check dam, making significant community contributions towards its realization. The check dam is expected to be a boon for the community, as it will provide them with a much-needed water source and help alleviate their water scarcity challenges.
The team recognized the urgent need for intervention at Phot Riat, the only perennial spring in the village, especially after the unfortunate incident of a loss of life. In order to ensure the safety of the people from Nongbah Nongnah and neighboring villages that fetch water from the spring, the team took proactive measures. A spring chamber was constructed at the source of the spring, converting it from an open spring to a protected one. This would help in keeping the water clean and free from debris, ensuring its quality for consumption.
Furthermore, safety rails were installed along the cliff side of the path that leads to the spring, providing a safety measure for people accessing the spring. These safety measures were put in place to prevent any accidents and ensure the well-being of the community members while accessing the spring for their water needs.
The commitment and hard work of the community of Nongbah Nongnah in preserving and conserving their natural resources is truly commendable. Their willingness to work alongside external help and make community contributions reflects their sense of ownership and responsibility towards their environment and the well-being of their community.
The gratitude of the VEC and the community towards the World Bank and the DPMU team for their support and interventions is a testament to the positive impact of CLLMP’s journey in Nongbah Nongnah. Despite being a small intervention, the efforts of the team and the community have made a significant impact on the environment and the people.
The success of CLLMP’s interventions in Nongbah Nongnah highlights the importance of community-driven initiatives in achieving sustainable development goals. It is a shining example of how collaborative efforts between communities, local organizations, and external support can bring about positive changes in environmental conservation and community well-being.
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” -Henry Ford.
Fig: Mot Chawlong, boulder bunds and plantation
Fig: Phot Riat, spring chamber and safety rails
Fig: Synrang Manai, Check Dam