Interdisciplinary Training Programme for Human Settlement


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Interdisciplinary Training Programme for Human Settlement Managers

The management and development of the Kolleru Lake

Interdisciplinary Research and Training Seminar (Using the Rotational Group Systems Method) By Dr Martin Wynn Hyderabad, India 12th August, 1987 Division of ecological sciences 1988 UNESCO Paris

Contents List of Figures Foreword

1. 2.
A. B. C. 3. A. B. C. D. 4.

Introduction Kolleru Lake:Summary of recommendations Physical environment Human activities Administration and management Seminar structure, content and organisation Course overview Lecture sessions The Kolleru Lake Field Trip The Rotational Group Systems sessions. Concluding remarks

Appendix A: Seminar Organisers and Speakers Appendix B: Seminar Participants

Foreword

The Kolleru Lake in Andhra Pradesh, India is a unique fresh water shallow lake, with its own very particular physical and socio-economic characteristics. It provides a classic example of man’s attempts to exploit natural resources resulting in the endangering of the local ecosystem. Only by firm and imaginative resource management will the decline be arrested.
The seminar, ‘The Management and Development of the Kolleru Lake’ was organised with UNESCO’s support in cooperation with the National Institute of Rural Development at Hyderabad, part of the Ministry of Agriculture. The aim of the seminar was to provide State administrative officers and researchers with a structure for interdisciplinary learning and exchange which, by focussing on a real case, would provide recommendations for appropriate integrated action.
The engendering of interdisciplinary awareness and integrated action requires the development of new training technologies - capable of synthesizing the range of disciplinary perspectives held by practising professionals. In this way, collaboration between scientists and administrative decision-makers can be promoted which will in due course bear fruit in the form of management policies and initiatives which produce balanced coordinated development of wetland ecosystems such as the Kolleru Lake.

1.

Introduction

This report follows the interdisciplinary research and training seminar held at the National Institute of Rural Development, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad (Figure 1.1) in August 1987. Hyderabad is India’s fifth largest city with a population of almost three million people, and was chosen as the home of the National Institute of Rural Development, a national centre for research and training in rural development activities, allied to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture. It was thus a suitable setting for a multi-disciplinary team (Figure 1.2) to examine problems and issues concerning the Kolleru Lake, a vast wetland providing habitat for over 200,000 people some 350 kilometres to the east in Andhra Pradesh State.
The report is divided into several main sections. Section 2, which follows this Introduction, sets out the main recommendations emanating from group discussion of problems and issues pertaining to the Kolleru Lake. Section 3 then outlines the seminar structure and organisation, whilst section 4 contains some brief concluding remarks.
Finally, the appendices contain details of those participating in the course.

Figure 1.1 Location of the Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad

Figure 1.2 Conference participants
Back row (left to right): Mr Mangapathi Rao, Mr G Prasad, Mr P V K Raju, Mr Anjani, Kumar Singh, Mr PK Goel, Mr M Srinivasa Rao, Mr D Shanthudu (N.I.R.D. Research Associate), Mr H Roy, Mr P Gopal Reddy. Front row: Mr Janardhana Rao, Mr D S Gangakhedkar, Dr M Thaha (N.I.R.D.), Mr Md Kadir Zaman, Dr Martin Wynn (UNESCO representative), Mr Kapoor (N.I.R.D. Director-General), Professor: L Vagle (speaker), Mr Hamid Ahmed (speaker), Mr GM Khan, Mr K Jaganmohan Rao, Mr Mohd Mohiuddin. (Missing: Mr Unia Maheswara Rao).

2. The Kolleru Lake: Summary of recommendations The following set of recommendations for the management and development of the Kolleru Lake represents the collective output of seminar members. These recommendations were produced using the Rotational Group Systems (RGS) method which is outlined section 3. A. Physical environment Introduction 1. The Kolleru Lake is a shallow fresh~water lake covering an expanse of 954 square kilometres when at
its maximum depth of 10.7 feet above sea-level. At times, the lake is as shallow as 3 feet above sealevel, when its expanse is approximately 135 square kilometres. 2. The lake has a catchment area of 4,700 square kilometres, which provides an inflow into the lake which enters by two main rivers, fifteen channels and a further fifteen drainage ditches. Outflow from the lake is through one main channel - the Upputeru river (see Figures 2.1 and 3.6). 3. The water-level within the lake varies according to the seasonal rainfall and consequent run-off from the catchment area. This pattern is complicated by the effects of the settlements within the lake (comprising 216,000 inhabitants in all), lines of communication (road and river) and human activities in general which combine to expose different parts of the bed area at different times of the year. In addition, the growth of the water hyacinth and other weeds has further hampered the throughflow of water.
Figure 2.1. Eutrophied Areas in the Kolleru Lake 4. The lake is polluted by industrial effluent, human waste, fertilisers and pesticides emanating from both within the
lake itself and from its catchment area upstream. 5. Land use within the lake area includes 127,000 acres given over to agriculture, 14,000 acres given over to fish-
farming (pisciculture), and 65,000 acres used for capture fishery.

Key Issues 6. The Kolleru Lake, as a physical and environmental resource, requires unitary and effective management.
Management and control of the inflow and outflow regimes (about which exact and reliable data are hard to come by), is one critical area in need of attention. 7. Eutrophication results in the spread of water hyacinth and other weeds, which impede the flow of water and decrease the productivity of the lake as a whole. 8. Pollution from industrial and human sources threaten fish stocks and render water unfit for human consumption. Despite this, many lake people do drink the water and the incidence of water-borne disease is high. Recommendations General: The overall objective of all recommendations for action in the Kolleru Lake must be the promotion of an integrated approach to socio-economic development of the Kolleru Lake through the optimum utilisation of its land and water resources. 9. The wetland character of the lake should be maintained by keeping the water level at 5 feet above sea level (+5 msl). This should be done through the construction of lake-bed water-flow regulators. 10. Weed control measures (both biological and mechanical) are required to arrest and reverse the spread of the water hyacinth and other weeds. 11. The Kolleru Lake is a declared bird sanctuary. This recognition needs to be reinforced in practice by more effective anti-poaching controls. 12. Stringent anti-pollution measures should be adopted to control point source pollution from industry and from nonpoint source pollutants such as those contained in run-off from agricultural areas.
Figure 2.2 ‘Bunds’ (low walls) in the Kolleru Lake 13. Bunds (low walls - see Figure 2.2) are constructed to facilitate the trapping of fish for both controlled pisciculture
and the more ad hoc ‘doddi’ fishing, and for some agricultural practices (eg rice growing). These must be removed where necessary to facilitate better drainage. Existing and future roads within the lake area must be (re)constructed to facilitate cross-drainage. 14. The potential contribution of afforestation in the catchment area to limiting run-off needs to be researched. B. Human activities Introduction 15. There are 148 scattered settlements within the lake area. The total population of these settlements is 216,000 inhabitants. 16. A livelihood is gained in the main through fishing, crop growing (mainly rice) and/or duck and pig-raising. There are several types of fishing. 44, 000 fishermen gain their livelihood from capture fishery using a variety of basket traps, nets and fishing craft (figures 2.3 and 2.4). Culture fishery (pisciculture) was introduced in the lake area in 1979 and has since grown to be the mainstay of 133 fishing co-operatives farming 14,000 acres in the lake-bed

area lying below 5 feet above sea level. ‘Doddi’ fishing, referred to above, is a traditional form of fishing pursued by elders having control over the lake bed area in their village.
An area of 50 to 200 acres (a doddy) is sold off to the highest bidder, who can then wall off the area, and as the water recedes, can capture basketfuls of fish. This has generally resulted in overfishing, especially in the breeding season from May to June.
Figure 2.3 Local Villagers with Fishing Nets, Pandiripalligudem
Figure 2.4 The ‘Palmyra’ Dug-out, used for fishing and transport 17. There is a chronic lack of drinking water in the lake area. Due to pollution by industrial effluent and sewerage,
the lake water is very rich in nutrients and heavily loaded with dissolved and suspended organic matter (eutrophication - see figure 2.1). The very high concentration of nutrients makes the water congenial for heavy growth of weeds. The drinking water problem is exacerbated by the brackish ground water, which again is not drinkable.

18. Communication between the bed villages is by road and water. The native palmyra canoes (see figure 2.4) are the main form of water transport available. Only 10 bed villages have outside links via fair weather roads.
19. Housing is built from dried reeds (phragmites), bamboo, casuarina poles and mud (figure 2.5). Although these have proved hardy constructions in the face of gales and floods, the general standard of living conditions suffer from the non-availability of cement, bricks and steel which are scarcely available in the lake area for economic/transport reasons.
20. There are practically no sewerage treatment plants within the lake area, and as a consequence, sanitary conditions in the bed villages are extremely poor. Untreated sewerage is released directly into the lake, and the lake is also polluted by sewerage from the surrounding Vijayawada, Eluru and Gudivada municipalities.
Recommendations 21. A ‘protected’ water supply is to be provided in all the bed habitations. Effective sewerage and sanitation facilities
must be provided for all villages. 22. Waterways and jetties are to be constructed to facilitate mechanised water transport between all lake villages. 23. ‘Doddi fishing’ and the construction of fishtanks and bunds below 5 feet above sea-level are to be prohibited.
Only local ‘vaddi’ (fishing communities) shall have the right to fish the Lake.
Figure 2.5 Typical Housing in the Kolleru Lake Villages 24. The necessary infrastructure to facilitate the marketing of fish outside of the region shall be provided by the
government. This includes cold storage, ice plant, loading and repacking facilities. Sale depots for timber and bamboo should also be provided. 25. The large areas of weed should be harvested and used for the production of compost and biogas. Slurry and compost should be used instead of inorganic fertilisers; blue-green algae may be cultured and used in agriculture. 26. The potential of the lake area for tourist exploitation should be carefully examined. 27. In general, modern technology should be introduced where appropriate in transportion, fisheries, agriculture, water supply and sanitation. C. Administration and management Introduction 28. The lake area is split between several administrative units. Of the 148 settlements, 105 rank as villages. These fall into 9 mandals, three divisions and two districts (moving upwards in the administrative hierarchy). Informal self-government is practised in most of the villages.

29. The Kolleru Lake Development Committee, created in 1982 and now disbanded, had no executive powers.

Key Issues

30. The multiplicity of departments, divisions and districts involved in administering the Lake renders control and coordination almost impossible.
31. There is a lack of clear objectives in the management of the Lake, despite the number of reports and studies that have been commissioned.
31. Inadequate attention is given to health, the protection of birds, animal husbandry, fishery conservation, point pollution and land-use in general. This is in part because of the general lack of resources for any government intervention in the region.

Recommendations

32. The lake area shall be brought under a single administrative entity and shall become a single parliamentary constituency.
33. The single administrative entity shall be an autonomous authority, responsible for the overall development of the region. Central and State government agencies working in the region shall function under the overall control of this authority, which shall be endowed with the powers necessary to regulate pollution and overall ecology in the region.
34. A data bank on all environmental and ecological aspects of the Lake is to be set up and maintained. 35. The Kolleru Lake is an internationally recognised Wetland. Efforts should be made to obtain funds from national
and international agencies. 36. A plan of action for the integrated development of the region is to be drawn-up, and future management of the
lake should adhere to the plan.

3.

Seminar structure, content and organisation

A.

Course overview

The course timetable (Figure 3.1) was put together in India by Dr Thaha (appointed course director by the N.I.R.D) and Mr Mangapathi Rao (Administrative Officer of the Kolleru Lake Development Committee), based on a framework put forward by the UNESCO representative (Dr M Wynn) working from England.
This worked out quite well in practice. Dr Thaha arranged for a number of experts in the human settlements field to give lectures to the group, to be followed by question and answer sessions, whilst leaving a number of caveats in the timetable for the UNESCO representative to conduct the Rotational Group Systems sessions. At the same time, Mr Mangapathi Rao organised a two-day field trip to the lake area, so that participants (some of whom had not visited the Lake before) could see problems first hand.
The range of themes covered in the lectures were suitably; relevant to be informative and stimulate discussion and new thinking in the intensive group sessions (Figure 3.2). Nevertheless, the general feeling of course participants at the close of the seminar was that not enough time had been given over to the Rotational Group Systems sessions and that too much time had been spent on the lecture sessions. Because of this, some simple guidelines are provided at the end of this section for those wishing to plan similar seminars in future.

B. Lecture sessions

The following notes summarise the major points discussed in the lecture/question and answer sessions. These encompassed a wide range of themes and disciplines and invariably produced many questions and much discussion. These modules were not only entities in themselves, but many were also of direct relevance to participants’ own experience and to the Kolleru case study. They thus helped in providing a range of disciplinary and thematic perspectives from which the Kolleru Lake case study could be viewed.
In Environmental Aspects of Human Settlements, Mr KV Natarajan outlined [missing text] basic statistics on landuse in India, and drew attention to the fact that forest areas now covered only 11% of the country - a dangerously low figure. He discussed the 1986 Environment Protection Act and the difficulties of implementing it effectively. The general picture he portrayed was one of developmental chaos, administrative ambiguities and source shortages that made attempts at planning and control difficult in the extreme. Nevertheless, Mr Katrajan concluded that one had no alternative but to keep on trying to improve the situation, step by step.
Settlements - Problems and Planning Techniques saw Professor B Mishra set out some key demographic facts. Between 1971 and 1981, the population of India increased by 47 millions, and in the next two decades, the population of India’s major cities will double. Yet over half the settlements of India have less than 1000 people.

Should we, then, scatter our limited national resources over the small settlements of less than 1000 inhabitants? Or should we concentrate resources in the major urban conurbations? And what role should the intermediate-sized towns play?
At present, less than 10% of national investment goes to the small settlements, where basic services are often not available; a recent survey has shown that 75% of these small settlements are experiencing a deterioration in the quality of life. Investment in middle-sized settlements has failed to establish them as poles de croissance; meanwhile, there is a massive investment in Delhi, where the annual budget alone is greater than 11 individual State budgets.
Professor Mishra then suggested that the most hopeful strategy was to find ways of harnessing human endeavour more productively. State-level action must come more to the fore, and attempts must be made to ‘humanise’ development

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Figure 3.1 Timetable for the Kolleru Lake Seminar

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Figure 3.2 Lecture Topics Having Bearing on the Kolleru Case Study

In Human Settlements - Planning Principles, Professor L Vagle maintained that rural planning had generally been much neglected, and that assisted self-help is the key to resolving the situation in India today. He then drew on his experience as UNCHS consultant in many countries, and singled out Sri Lanka as having achieved significant success in settlement planning.
Sri Lanka have achieved low birth and death rates, whilst the per capita is income is double that of India’s. Countrycity migration is low (0.3% in 1982), and Columbo, the capital, has grown at only 2.1% per annum for two decades.
Professor Vagle asserted that the key to their success has been a concerted programmes of rural housing construction, accompanied by self-help service provision schemes.
Low-cost Sanitation: Mr Hamid Ahmed outlined the dire situation regarding sanitation facilities in India, and his organisations’ attempts to make some initiative in this field.
Sulabh International is a non-profit making organisation which focuses on action ie getting things done in the field. Mr Ahmed discussed their programme to provide over 200 villages in Andhra Pradesh with sanitary facilities, using 50% finance from the Central Government, 30% from the municipalities, with the rest to be recouped from user charges
He discussed the inadequacy, misuse and dereliction of municipal latrines, and examined the related social issues, including the rehabilitation of ‘scavengers’ - those who carry the ‘night soil’ away, on their heads, for a living.
In Planning and Management of a Settlement Environment - A Case Study, Dr Thaha outlined the research programme which examined rural settlements in the Kunrathur ‘block’, near Madras. A cluster of small villages, none with a population above 3000, was studied. The results emphasised the inadequacy of services, particularly latrines and human waste disposal. The majority of inhabitants still defecated near to their dwellings, and the consequent problems of hygeine and disease were examined. Dr Thaba discussed the need for more thoughtful and sensitive treatment of this subject by State authorities.
Management of Human Settlements - Implementation and Evaluation saw Professor Salim provide an analysis of management shortcomings and guidelines for improvement. He suggested that managers adhere to one of two models either manipulative or transformative. What the country needed was the latter; what it had, in the main, was the former!
Indian managers tend to be too dependent on their bosses; managers must be more assertive and more creative. Managers must try to develop leadership skills to encompass entrepreneurial, administrative and political functions. ‘Negatives’ to avoid were dependency, immaturity, and being impulsive. ‘Positives’ to develop were social extroversion, leadership and tollerance.
The organisation must provide the Strategy, Structure and System; the manager must develop his skills and style in the functions of planning, organising, directing and controlling
In Rural Housing in Kerula, Mr Poulouse related his experience as Housing Commissioner in Kerula, focussing in particular on the provision of free housing for the poor. House design and house finance were discussed, and housing materials were illustrated with slides. Of particular interest was the use of mud blocks and coconut timber in dwelling construction.
Planning for Rural Growth Centres saw Dr Thaha outline a methodology currently being used in Andhra Pradesh

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Interdisciplinary Training Programme for Human Settlement