Strengthening the banks of water bodies with Vetiver grass.
1 location in India
Focus: Water Conservation; Water station for other use
Implementation dates: September 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010
Planned impact: 0 people
Status: Approved - Needs Funding
$1,707 estimated project cost
$1,707 requested
$0 funded to date
Peer Review Average Score: 5.5
4 reviews submitted
3 discussion participants


Strengthening the banks of water bodies existing in the identified Government Poramboke/wastelands with Vetiver grass plantings and planting tree saplings on the bunds to conserve soil and water and facilitate water percolation and also to provide drinkin


The Pondicherry region is situated about 185 Km south of Chennai with an area of about 293 Sq.Km.

The Government of Pondicherry has taken up the work of desilting of the existing ponds under the National Rural employment Guarantee program.
In the proposed project villages in total 5 ponds – 2 nos. in Madagadipet village and 3 nos. in Kalitheerthalkuppam village were recently desilted under this program. Out of the 5 ponds, in 2 ponds percolation recharge tubes have been installed by the State Groundwater Authority of the Department of Agriculture.

Though the ponds have been desilted for collecting and storing water therein for enabling recharge as well as providing drinking water to the cattle grazing in the round about localities, the banks have not been strengthened and kept prone to erosion and sand sliding by the water velocity. Therefore they are immediately in need of strengthening of the banks and also raising of some permanently growing trees on the peripheral bunds for their sustained existence and use to the communities. All these ponds are situated in Mannadipet commune on either side of National Highways running between Pondicherry to Villupuram (Tamilnadu).



Strengthening the banks of water bodies with Vetiver grass.

Madagadipet Village, India



Primary focus:
Water Conservation
Secondary focus:
Water station for other use

People Getting Safe Drinking Water


People Getting Sanitation


Schoolchildren Getting Water


People Getting Other Benefits

100 nos. of Women SHG members will get wage employment during the planting of Vetiver grass slips and tree saplings.
Further the 5 nos. of women SHG will be assigned the task of Pot watering the planted Vetiver slips and tree saplings for a period of 2 months.


Application type:
Start date:
September 1, 2009
Completion date:
January 31, 2010

Technology Used

The approach proposed to be adopted contemplate strengthening of the banks of the ponds by planting vetiver slips so that they can withstand erosion and sliding of loose soil in the normal course. Raising of tree plantations on the peripheral bunds is intended to provide further strengthening and also to enhance the storage capacity of the ponds besides providing shade and shelter to the birds and animals.

The plantation work will be taken up involving women SHGs during the North-east monsoon and thus watering the saplings will be required to a limited extent only.

The local women SHGs will be involved in taking care of the periodical maintenance of the Vetiver plantation by pruning and clipping and also by pot watering the tree saplings till they are well established.

Vetiver plantation work in farm ponds and fish cultivation ponds was introduced by Ekoventure in the adjoining district in our earlier project. The farmers have very well appreciated this work and informed that by planting Vetiver they could save INR 10000 which they would spend for annual desilting works.

The Vetiver plantation technology is well explained in the attached leaflet.


Yes in one phase.

Community Organization

In both the project villages Ekoventure is at present implementing “Solid Waste Management at household level” project involving 500 women SHG members. These women and the local Panchayat will be involved in the Vetiver plantation work.

Government Interaction

There is no information about government interaction currently available for this plan.

Ancillary Activities

There is no information about ancillary activities currently available for this plan.

Other Issues

There is no information about other issues currently available for this plan.


Maintenance Revenue

Once the Vetiver grass gets well established then it requires only minimal care and the women SHG members will be involved for the continous maintenance of the Vetiver system

Maintenance Cost

There is no information about costs for maintenance currently available for this plan.


Prior art before metrics




See attachment



No additional existing funding details are currently available.

Community Contribution


No additional community contributions details are currently available.

Funds Requested




New direction
This is a very different and difficult request for Blue Planet Run.

Protecting of a pond has never before been considered or even approached for.

Why can't the gov't who is doing desilting work do this? Esp. if you can prove the savings tha you mention.
Can't NREGS be of assistance here?

Or even some kind of community work to protect their own water source?

How do you prevent grazing and other actions from destroying this green protection?
Posted by Rajesh Shah, Blue Planet Network, on August 8, 2009 at 2:46am
New direction
Dear Rajesh,
In the present scenario of extinction of water bodies due to encroachment for construction of housing flats, bus stand, collectorate, etc., we feel that it is necessary to protect these water bodies.

Southern India is famous for the water bodies like ponds, tanks and lakes. Until 1970's the water bodies were well protected by the traditional system named "Kudimaramathu" wherein from each household they provide one labour (or cash or kind) and maintenance of the system will be carried out during the summer season. Under the world bank funded IAMWARM project the Tamilnadu Govt is taking steps to reestablish the "Kudimaramathu" system in major irrigation tanks only.

It is necessary to show/prove to the Govt, the benefits of establishing Vetiver system and for that purpose this can be taken as a model project in Pondicherry. After seeing the success the Govt may adopt in the remaining 500+ ponds in Pondicherry.

The cattle try to feed this grass (aged/older) only if they don't get any other vegetation. The young grass will be grazed and it is necessary to protect the grass till its establishment (4-5 months) and this will be done involving the community and women SHG members.



Posted by S. Pushpalatha, Ekoventure, on August 10, 2009 at 12:51pm Submitter Comment
New direction
This proposal, while it might well provide certain benefits to rural communities in terms of agricultural production (and perhaps reduced localized flooding especially during the monsoon season), using small dikes for water stabilization and control, appears to be well outside the typical activities subsidized by PWX, such as water supply, sanitation and health and hygiene promotion.
Posted by Rick McGowan, Team Blue, on August 10, 2009 at 5:18pm
New direction
Dear Rick McGowan,

The main source of drinking water in Pondicherry is only the "Ground water". In early 70's, the water table was only between 15 to 40 feet. Now, due to over exploitation of the Ground water for Agriculture and industrial purpose, the ground water table has gone deep to 700-1000 feet. It is more essential to maintain these small water bodies to recharge the Ground water and to ensure the drinking water availability for the future generation.

Posted by S. Pushpalatha, Ekoventure, on August 10, 2009 at 11:25pm Submitter Comment
New direction

You say "the Govt may adopt".
So while the activity itself may succeed the goals to be a pilot and spread it requires gaining attention of various other orgs, agencies, people.

Who will do it and how? Has your org taken some pilot and spread it? Or thru enlisted help?

In the future, PWX may be the platform for this kind of activity, but not today.
Posted by Rajesh Shah, Blue Planet Network, on August 12, 2009 at 2:36pm


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This is hard to judge, as it is an entirely new type of activity proposed.

While the activity itself appears to be good and planned, the outcome / goal achievement is not clear.

If this is a pilot, how will it spread? Who is going to bring it to the attention of other agencies, gov'ts, ?
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The plan to strengthen banks, peripheral bunds of the water harvesting structure through the plantation of vetiver grass and trees is apporpriate technology. This would result in soil and water conservation. Thus facilitate water percolation and also to provide drinking water to the livestock.

The plantation of vetiver grass on the bunds is the appropriate indigenous technology for strengthening the earthen bunds / banks of the ponds etc.

The involvement of the women and local panchayat and implemetation of the project by the SHGs is appreciated.

We wish all success and recommend the project to the PWX

Thomas Palghadmal
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