Natural resource management is an area where SAFI makes a significant intervention. Natural resource management is taking care of natural resources such as land, water, marine and biological systems, with a particular focus on the promotion of the quality of life for both present and future generations. SAFI advocates proper use of natural resources in its efforts to achieve the goal of integral development. SAFI, when planning policies and programs, takes into account the climate, soils, water, vegetation and organisms to attain the sustainability by balancing social (people and communities), economic (money and jobs) and environmental (land, water, air and living things) factors to make sure that our children and grandchildren and the coming generations can equally benefit from the natural resources around us. Our social, economic and environmental wellbeing depends on the sustainable management of natural resources. And it is the responsibility of the present generation to leave a better natural environment for people in the future than what we have today and with this goal SAFI undertakes and implements various activities.
1. Jalanidhi (Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project)
"Jalanidhi" is a World Bank-assisted "Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project" for sustained delivery of adequate quantity of water and sanitation services in rural areas in different districts of Kerala. It is one of the most radical projects of the Govt. of Kerala funded by the World Bank to ensure pure and safe drinking water to all the citizens of the prioritized Grama Panchayaths. This project is implemented by the Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency with the support of NGOs. For the successful and effective implementation of the project, people’s participation is ensured through Community Empowerment Plan. Social Action Forum has been the part of the implementation of the Jalanidhi project right from its beginning. SAFI successfully implemented the project in Thenjippalam Gram Panchayath of Malappuram District in the first batch and in the second batch in Panjal Grama Panchayath of Thrissur District. At present SAFI is engaged in the implementation of the project third batch in Ozhur Grama Panchayath of Malapuram District.
2. Sustainability through Participatory Empowerment and Decentralization (SPED)
SPED is a community development project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada formerly known as Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through Save A Family Plan India and executed by SAFI. SPED stands for Sustainability, Participation, Empowerment and Decentralization. This is a participatory project implemented with the participation of the local communities. The span of the project is normally 5 years. Facilitation, Coordination and Implementation of the project through partner NGOs are done by Save A Family Plan. SAFI executes the project at village level in partnering with Village Action Teams which are constituted democratically in each selected village. Different development tools like Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Result Based Management (RBM) and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) are applied in this project. Due importance is given to concepts of gender integration and best practice of governance. SAFI has so far completed 2 phases of this project first at Randukai (SPEDI) and the other at Parekkattukara (SPEDII). Both these phases focused on watershed management and ground water recharging. At present the third phase of the project (SPED III) is underway in Parakkadavu, Kuzhoor and Annamanada panchayaths. The project is implemented by taking activities in 7 sectors, namely Health and Hygiene, Education, Economic Sector (IGP), Good Governance, Food Security, Environment Protection and Gender Mainstreaming. By this project the target people are strengthened for the proper use of the natural resources for sustainable development. Social forestry, bio-fencing, water recharging, agriculture developments etc. are some of the activities undertaken by SAFI.
3. Agriculture Development & Food Security
a. Prakruthy Agriculture Nursery and Research Centre, Kottanellur
Agriculture is the life-breath and backbone of Humanity. Human civilization itself is founded on agriculture. Agriculture development is inevitable for human development. We live in a time when agriculture has given way to industrialization. Neither the need of agriculture nor quality of agriculture is a concern for anybody. Safety of food is compromised for profit which leads to health issues. Social Action Forum Irinjalakuda committed to the integral development of the individual, promotes agriculture and safe food for a healthy living. It is with this purpose that Prakruthi Agriculture Nursery and Research Centre was established at Kottanellur as a resource centre for farmers. The main objectives of the nursery are to protect nature, promote sustainable organic farming and to protect the interests of the farmers. Prakruthi takes initiative to give training to farmers and functions as a model unit of a mixed farm school with different activities like goat rearing, dairy farm, poultry, production of vermin compost and other organic fertilizers etc.
b. Harithabhavanam (Kitchen Garden and Waste Management)
One of the frightening issues of the present time of Kerala is the increase of cases of mortal diseases like Cancer, Renal Diseases, Heart diseases etc. These diseases and diabetes etc are considered as lifestyle diseases. Incidence of deaths at early age due to cancer, kidney damage, etc is alarming. According to experts these diseases are attributed to life style and food habit changes, use of vegetables and other food products which are poisonous due to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and unscientific ways of waste disposal including household waste. It is under this circumstance that SAFI has launched the ‘Harithabhavanam” Project to promote organic farming, kitchen garden and scientific ways of waste management including manufacturing of compost from household waste. As the first phase this project has been implemented in the 19 communities (village based parishes) adjacent to Irinjalakuda. This project is intended to give training to people to make compost from the kitchen waste and to promote vegetable cultivation using the compost and other organic fertilizers and pesticides. As the second phase this scheme is introduced in all the parishes of the diocese by conducting a competition for kitchen garden. The project aims at scientific management of wastes, promotion of healthy living through safe food, organic vegetable cultivation including kitchen garden, and manufacturing of organic fertilizers and pesticides. To achieve these objectives SAFI conducts awareness classes and trainings cum workshops on lifestyle diseases, organic farming, the need of kitchen garden, proper management of waste making of vermin-compost, production of other organic fertilizers and pesticides.