Saving a Dying Valley

Ramananda Wangkheirakpam

I. General Information
History of the Imphal valley. Demographical description of the valley area in relation to the hills, rivers, wetland systems, traditional water management, disposal of waste, sewage etc.. Demographic changes. Imphal as an unplanned ‘city’. Rivers (turels and khongs) and lakes that forms a magnificent wetland system, which also acts as a natural regeneration mechanism for the valley.

II. Problems
‘Development’ and its effect on the ecology of Imphal valley. Increased use of pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural practices, use of non-degradable products, increase of polluting vehicles, rise and migration of population, degradation of green covers in the valley for development and for human settlements, loss of biodiversity, compounded with the total absence of waste or disposal system leading to unmanageable degraded environment unfit for human for human habitation. Linking with Loktak lake conservation.

III. The Project

III. a. Conceptualization
The quintessential aspect and the goal of this project will be the involvement of all stakeholders in evolving a model of ‘environmental’ restoration and maintenance leading to a more sustainable development of the Imphal valley, leading to improvement of health and quality of life of people residing in the valley.

This project will be modeled as a multi-stakeholder approach to regenerating and preserving a human habitation involving the government, semi-government bodies, NGOs, local clubs, academics and indigenous socio-political institutions that will be brought together from the very design of the project, operation, monitoring and functioning. Because the main stakeholders are from the same itself

For this project a comprehensive Study of the valley is called for. This will include documentation of existing studies, commissioning new studies to experts in co-ordination with local groups and individuals that will lay the foundation for further action of this project. This study must include water systems of the lakes and the rivers in the valley in the past and the present, land use system, population and its impact on environment. Existing Waste disposal and sewage problem in the valley and how better system can be planned. Field survey to assess water quality at various water bodies and other sites in-order to determined their health and environmental effect.

III. b. Three pronged Action Strategy:

Strategies to deal with problems and solutions identified by the above studies and surveys can include

q Working out feasible program to clean areas under the project (whom to involve). Local representatives of the project can also act as monitoring person at project sites.

q This will be pursued side by side with promotion and advocacy of ‘new’ environmental values at school, college and at household level.

q An important component of this program will also include an active pressure group to inform and influence policy makers in the state to adopt environmental and people friendly policies.

IV. Approximate Budget: (INR)

IV. a. Research/Studies/Case Studies
20,000 x 5 Experts x 6 Months