Workshops Project Shifting Grounds in India and Bangladesh
An international team of researchers and NGOs led by TU Delft met with local experts and stakeholders in India and Bangladesh to present, discuss and reflect on the results of a four year project on groundwater management in peri-urban areas. Funded under the first round of Urbanizing Deltas of the World programme, Shifting Grounds is now entering its final stage. In this last large stakeholder workshop, researchers presented their findings on the sustainability of groundwater management in the peri-urban areas, specifically focusing on institutional dynamics, groundwater modelling, and socio-economic aspects. A unique aspect of the Shifting Grounds project has been to closely link scientific research and community empowerment through the “Negotiated Approach”, working with local NGOs and Both ENDS in the Netherlands. Community stakeholders therefore had an important voice and role in the initial scoping of the research.
Two stakeholder workshops were held in September 2018, one in Kolkata, India, and one in Khulna, Bangladesh. In the presence of international experts and different local government officials, the participating members of peri-urban village communities expressed their appreciation for the project team, which, as they learned, had not come with a predefined agenda, but proved to be genuinely interested in supporting them. The community in the peri-urban areas close to Kolkata valued the information and results they had received about their groundwater quality status for their domestic and drinking water sources. In Khulna, villagers were especially pleased that through the use of a game-based workshop developed in the project, they now had learned with which government officials they should engage to address specific groundwater related concerns. With this knowledge, dialogues with government agencies had already been initiated, and they were set to continue those.
The Shifting Grounds project will continue for a few more months, to wrap up PhD theses and project publications.
Project website: http://saciwaters.org/shiftinggrounds/index.html