Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Meghalaya, the village of Nongshillong faced a common challenge water scarcity. Yet, with the ingenuity and determination of its residents, this village embarked on a journey of transformation, leveraging traditional wisdom and modern solutions to address its water woes.

Identifying the Solution

With an acute understanding of their topography, the villagers recognized that check dams could be the key to stopping the flow of running water and providing a sustainable solution to water scarcity. Through the help of the Community Led Landscape Management Programme (CLLMP), the Village Natural Resource Management Committees (VNRMCs) decided to harness the natural water sources, such as perennial springs, and make construction both demand-based and environmentally friendly.

Collaboration with CLLMP

The VNRMCs submitted three proposals to the District Project Management Unit (DPMU) under CLLMP, prioritizing water conservation activities. As a result, the construction of check dams became a focal point of the project, strategically positioned at the highest points of the village to store water for dry seasons.

 Empowering Through Afforestation

Understanding the symbiotic relationship between trees and water retention, the villagers embarked on a community-driven afforestation initiative. Trees like banana and non-pine species were planted to retain soil moisture and enhance water storage in the check dams, laying the groundwork for long-term sustainability.

Implementation and Impact

Following the intervention of CLLMP, three check dams were constructed at Nongshillong. Pipes connected from these dams now supply filtered water to different localities, including Lawnongrim, Lawphotbah and Lawjynmew. This access to clean water has not only filled the villagers’ hearts with pride but also saved time spent on household activities.




Enhancing Agriculture and Livelihoods

Beyond meeting basic needs, the water stored in check dams has revolutionized agricultural practices in Nongshillong. Farmers now cultivate a diverse range of crops, including rice, lettuce, flowers, and various vegetables. This surge in agricultural productivity has not only ensured food security but also generated additional income for the farmers, bolstering the village’s economy.


The story of Nongshillong serves as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives in addressing water scarcity. Through collaboration, innovation and sustainable practices, the village has not only secured its water future but also transformed its landscape and livelihoods.

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