Message from Executive Director

I am pleased to present the 2015-16 report on the activities of Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (0saca). Right from the beginning, our organization has been committed to serving the humanity through thick and thin. I am expressing my gratitude to every employee for orchestrating our fight against poverty with utmost devotion. I hope the level we reached in the financial year gone will be multiplied in the coming year. A new horizon will be seen and at the same time a new height reached.

Through a bloody struggle our country has become independent. Now is the time to achieve economic emancipation. To make this happen, Osaca has been working with passion and devotion for those who are not able to stand on their own and who can make impossible possible if assistance is given.

Osaca has successfully shouldered the mission of creating job opportunities for these marginal people. Apart from the creation of jobs, Osaca has been giving them the access to medicare free of cost. The students from the ultra poor families are being taught without charging any fees. Many such activities are going on.

Economic development involves lots of areas including development of human capital, regional competitiveness, social inclusion, critical infrastructure, health, safety, literacy and other initiatives. Osaca’s team has been working in every area specified above. The volume of our work will only keep increasing in the days to come.

On behalf of the Governing Body and staff, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to our donors and lenders.

Our special thanks go to Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation for their continuous support.

Wish everyone a bright year ahead.

OSACA: At a Glance

Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (OSACA) is a nonprofit and non political voluntary development organization which came into being in 1995 in a remote poverty ridden village named Chargargari under Ishwardi Upzilla in Pabna. Since then the organization has been working relentlessly with a view to driving away poverty as well as creating an egalitarian society. Over the years the organization has been plying its role as the instrumental to changing the life of the underprivileged by following its aims and objectives strictly. In course of time, the organization has been registered with the government of Bangladesh and the NGO affairs bureau. The organization is the brainchild of a group of dedicated social workers with a multi disciplinary expertise. Organization for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities has also empowered the representatives of the target groups by making them an inseparable part of the team in which lies the responsibility of formulating vital policies.

The life of the inhabitants of the village from where the organization started its journey is marked by acute poverty, malnutrition, flood, river erosion, unemployment, social inequality, gender discrimination, Illiteracy and unavailability of safe water along with a huge lack of sanitation. Fragmentation of land ownership and occurrence of natural calamities have worsened the already complicated plight of the locals. Under such a circumstance, the organization devoted itself to emancipate the toiling masses from the curse of social and economic deprivation.

For over 20 years, Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities and its partners have been helping communities, so that the ultra poor have access to their rights including the rights to protection, basic education, proper healthcare, pollution free environment, livelihood opportunities and participation in decisions which affect their lives. The organization also encourages the beneficiaries to express their views and to be actively involved in improving their communities.

Approach

Osaca’s rights based and holistic development approach helps bring lasting improvements to the lives of the vulnerable people and their communities in Pabna, Natore, and Rajshahi. As a non government organization working for the poor, Osaca is committed to the principles of human rights and equality. It also works to develop the capacity of the ultra poor to meet their own needs by implementing development models successfully.

Vision

Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (Osaca) is working with a view to establishing a society based on legitimate rights, equality, justice, honesty, social sensitivity and a culture of service.

Mission

Osaca commits itself to-

  1. Identifying and working alongside the economically and socially deprived.
  2. Bringing a qualitative change in the life of the underprivileged.
  3. Ensuring the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals by empowering the weaker sections of the society.
  4. Protecting the underprivileged from social deprivation, inequalities and injustices.
  5. Nurturing democratic norms.
  6. Collaborating with other agencies-national or international in a bid to fulfill its objectives.
  7. Fostering cultural diversity and communal harmony.

Strategies

The strategy of Osaca revolves around the principles of equal participation of the poor irrespective of religion, gender and ethnicity. It also consists of building relation with public offices and communities, upholding human rights and creating a gender neutral environment for the sake of a democratic and just society.

Objectives

*To protect the rights and privileges of the deprived women, children, minorities and the under privileged sections of the society.

*To ensure arsenic free water and environmental sanitary latrine.

*To strengthen the local government institutions through ensuring community participation.

*To mobilize people in order to create social movement against anti social activities, dowry, cruelty to women, injustice, discrimination and other social vices and anomalies prevailing in the society.

*To assist people in understanding the critical features and forces for deprivation in the society and thereby create awareness about it among them.

*To undertake income generating activities, generation of savings from the target groups and promotion of micro entrepreneur ship with a view to alleviating the poverty and empowering the distressed and the poor to become self reliant.

*To develop human resources through organizing training, workshops, seminars etc. for the staff and other partners.

*To render services and development assistance to the deserving poor and distressed people of the society particularly to the unfortunate widows divorced women, orphans, destitute and handicapped.

*To provide housing facilities to the land less, destitute and the poorest of the poor living both at urban and rural areas.

*To provide maternity health care services.

*To undertake advocacy on establishing the rights of the women, children and farmers.

*To plan and execute sustainable development programs including non-formal education, adult literacy, functional education, promotion of health services, water supply and sanitation, social afforestation and nursery development.

*To reduce gender discrimination in the society and encourage the women to participate in the decision making process.

*To ensure arsenic free and fresh water.

Goals

Organization for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (Osaca) wants to-

  1. Establish a self reliant society.
  2. Build the capacity of the disadvantaged so that they can improve their lives.
  3. Create awareness among the community.
  4. Forge partnerships with national or international organizations to bring in sustainable improvements in the livelihood of the mass.

Whom we work for-

Organization for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (Osaca)

 

 

 

Landless Peasants
Marginal Farmers
Destitute Men and Women
Ultra Poor
Youths and Children

 Our Partners in Development-

  1. Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation.
  2. Unicef
  3. European Union.
  4. Department of Public Health and Engineering, GOB.
  5. NGO Forum.
  6. NGO Foundation.

Legal Status

Osaca is registered with the following authorities-

Type of Registration                                                     Reg. No. &  Date
NGO Affairs Bureau 935, Dated:    25/05/1995
District Social Welfare 614/98, Dated: 03/08/1998
Micro Credit Regulatory Authority 02428-03744-00186, Dated: 25/03/2008

Sectors of Specialization

  1. Microfinance
  2. Boutubani Pathshala (Previeous-Osaca Children Garden )
  3. Publication and Library
  4. Integrated Approach for Adaptation to drought Under CCCP
  5. Enrich Program
  6. Housing Project
  7. HYSAWA Project

1. Microfinance

Microfinance is a way to promote economic development, employment and growth through the support of micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is a source of financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses lacking access to banking and related services.

The leading program of Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (Osaca) is microfinance which started in 1994.Osaca provides access to financial services to those poverty stricken people. The borrowers, mainly women take the loan to get their families engaged in various income generating activities. Thus the person who has no asset and who is deprived of credit from any banks is coming out of the vicious cycle of poverty and contributing to Bangladesh’s Gross Domestic Product by getting access to financial services through Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (Osaca).The members of the group willing to take loans also generate their funds through savings mandatorily. The growth of savings is considered as an integral part of micro financing. The regularity in savings is a very good indicator of better discipline in the group and its credit activities. Any member from any group can overcome the period of financial crisis by using the saved money. Osaca’s savings program empowers its beneficiaries by facilitating the formation of capital in a capital starved country like Bangladesh. Efficient management system and tools, linkage with other financial institutions, identification of alternative micro-schemes, approach to address the poorest of the poor section and access to the remotest and hard to reach locations have ensured an exquisite place for Osaca’s microfinance program. The Osaca led Microfinance program follows an integrated micro-credit and social development approach which in turn plays a significant role in meeting the UN declared Sustainable Development Goals.

Source of Fund

Organization for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (Osaca) receives credit funds and operational support from PKSF and other national as well as international financing agencies.

Rural and Urban Micro Credit

The micro credit which is taken by the poor residing in a rural or urban area through forming groups from Osaca in order to be engaged in income generating activities is ‘Rural and Urban Micro Credit’. A person can receive not more than BDT 29000 as a loan under this program. The loan must be repaid with a service charge of 12.5 by 45 installments of equal amount. The core activity of this program is to create awareness on social justice, to identify issues hindering development and to take control of the situation for harnessing development effectively.

Started from: 1998

Current Status: On going

Project Coverage: Pabna, Natore and Shirajgonj District

Partner in Development: Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation

Sectors of Rural and Urban Micro Credit

*Agriculture

*Small Enterprises

*Livestock Rearing

*Poultry

*Construction of Houses

*Household Appliances

*Livestock Business, etc

Objectives

*Bringing about a qualitative and substantive change in the life of the beneficiaries.

*Empowering the poor and making them self reliant thereby.

*Helping the poor to initiate their own business with the capital formed by them.

*Creating income generating sources with a view to helping the poor afford basics like running water, better food, health services and schooling for their children.

Formation of Groups

The first step of forming a group ascertains whether a person belongs to the marginal class or not. A group can be formed with only 10 members but the number must not cross 30 .The ideal age of all the group members must be between 18 to 50.Women will be the soul members of all these groups. The members of all the groups must deposit money on a timely basis to boost up their savings. The savings of a person is returned if that person leaves Osaca willingly or unwillingly.

Impact of the Program

 

The program has left a beneficial impact on the beneficiaries.

*Most of the borrowers can sign; the achievement which was not possible before.

*Most of the beneficiaries are now aware of their health and hygiene related duties.

*People have learnt not to overlook the issues related to environment.

*More than 35000 women can read and write.

*Osaca’s borrowers have been empowered socially and financially.

Achievements till now

 

              Activity                 Achievement
Number of Groups 1900
Number of Members 36450
Number of Borrowers 31315
Disbursement Cumulative in Taka
Outstanding in Taka 61,79,79,305
Members Savings in Taka 18,91,50,107
Average Loan Size in Taka 19,734
Loan Recovery Rate in percentage 99.82%
Number of Branches in this loan 15

2. Boutubani Pathshala (Prev.-Osaca Children Garden)

Under its education program, Osaca has been running this school in a remote corner of Pabna district. The area where Osaca Children Garden is located did not have any schools before. The students of the area, the majority of whom are from socio economically unstable families, had to travel as long as 15 km to access education. With the establishment of Osaca Children Garden School, those students are now receiving life oriented and modern education at a very nominal cost near their home. The school is located in a scenic environment. At present the school imparts education to the students studying in the primary level i.e. from class one to class five. The students numbering 500 are not only taught but also given the opportunity to excel in extracurricular activities. Osaca Children Garden School follows Bangladesh’s national curriculum. It also abides by the rules and regulations formulated by the Government of Bangladesh. A total of 12 teachers with a fantastic academic record and a positive mentality to serve are working as the teachers of this school. Osaca has facilitated their in service training which took place in many state of the art training facilities across the country.lot of scholarships are available for the needy students.

Started From: 2004

Current Status: On Going

Current Student:400

Location: Chargargari, Ishwardi, Pabna.

Partner in Development: Department Of Primary Education.

Objectives

*To impart education to the students of the Underprivileged families.

*To take education to the doorstep of the poor.

*To encourage women empowerment through education.

*To raise consciousness about the negative effects of child marriage and dowry.

*To help people develop a broad outlook towards life.

*To instill the values of democracy and tolerance into the students through education.

*To build an educated nation in order to facilitate Bangladesh’s effort to become a middle income country.

PSC Result (Last Years)

   Year Total Examinee Successful Students Percentage of Passing Number of  A  Grade Holders Number of A+  Grade Holders
2015
 32  32  100%  30  02

3. Publication and Library

The word publication means the act of publishing, and also refers to any printed copies. Osaca’s Publication is all about making awareness raising posters, booklets and magazines available to the general public. Osaca publishes posters and booklets on equal opportunity, health, sanitation, human rights, women empowerment, child abuse and child labor on a regular basis with a view to adding momentum to social mobilization. Osaca’s library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources open to its beneficiaries and the community where it operates. The library provides physical and digital access to various sources of information. The Osaca led library has a good collection of books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, documents, CDs, cassettes and other formats.

Started From: 1996

Current Status: On going

Number of Books: 5000

Objectives

*To organize materials to facilitate their use.

*To promote through the facility the continued self development of the public in the direction of cultural, creative, educational and recreational purposes.

*To provide significant books and other printed or recorded materials.

*To meet changing expectations.

*To recognize the different needs of our beneficiaries.

*To make our services easy to access, intuitive and coherent.

*To improve the speed and quality of the resource discovery process.

*To assess and improve our skills continuously.

 

4. Community Climate Change Project (CCCP)

Sub:  Integrated approch for Adaptation to Drought (IAAD)  

Supported By    : Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF)

Funded By   : Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund Implemented By: Organisation for Social Advancement and Cultural Activities (osaca)

Overview

Climate change is the biggest global threat to humanity in the 21st century. And Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world facing the potential impacts of climate change.  With an understanding of the nature and magnitude of the adverse impacts of climate change and the efforts required to enhance resilience, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) adopted Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) in 2009. A multi-donor trust fund, known as “Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF)”, was established to implement the strategy and action plan. As of today, BCCRF has attracted around US$190 million (initially it was US$125 million) from the bilateral development partners (United Kingdom, European Union, Sweden, USA, Australia, Switzerland and Denmark). Ninety percent of the available fund will be allocated to public sector projects, while 10 percent will be channeled through NGOs for community level climate actions through a different project titled ‘Community Climate Change Project (CCCP)’.  The Governing Council of BCCRF entrusted Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) to implement the community-level climate change adaptation activities through CCCP. On behalf of the contributing Development Partners and in consultation with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), the World Bank (WB) ensures the fiduciary management of the project. CCCP has its own Operational Manual (OM), Environmental Management Framework (EMF), Social Management Framework (SMF), Procurement Guideline,

Grievance Redress Mechanism, Complain Handling Mechanism and Monitoring and Evaluation Manual. Throughout the project, every NGO has to work as per the guidelines of these manuals. PKSF has established a Project Management Unit (PMU) in its own premises to manage the activities of CCCP and the project implementation supervision in PIP level.

SUB PROJECT BACKGROUND

As a Project Implementing Partner of PKSF, Organization for social Advancement and Cultural Activities (OSACA) has been working to mitigate the threats posed by drought in Lalpur upzilla of Natore district. The upzilla is one of the drought prone areas of Bangladesh. The area where Lalpur is located is deficient in atmospheric, surface and ground water. Almost all the tube wells of Lalpur upzilla can not draw any water in the summer. On top of that, getting safe potable water is very difficult. This leads the people to fetch water from nearby water bodies. The problem is deteriorating due to climate change. Drinking unsafe water, women and children are being affected by water borne diseases and their morbidity rate is increasing fast. The poor defecate in the open place since they can hardly manage to construct a sanitary latrine. Severe heat wave damages crops and dries up arable lands. As a part of the integrated Approach for Adaptation to Drought, OSACA has been providing the beneficiaries with required training and technical support for goat rearing. Ponds also have been excavated and re excavated in the project area. OSACA has also installed deep hand tube wells for safe drinking water and deep tube wells for irrigational purpose. Except this, sanitary latrines have been installed. The crops which can tolerate drought have been introduced to the beneficiaries.

WORKING AREA : District: Natore, Upzilla: Lalpur

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:  Enhancing the capacity of the community to build sustainable resilience against climate change through community based planning.

  1. Enhancing the capacity of the poor and the ultra poor families to adapt with the impact of climate change through income generating activities and draught resilient crops.
  2. Ensuring WASH facilities of poor and ultra poor families through alternative practice considering the impact of climate change.

PROJECT PERIOD: February 2014 to September 2016.

Project Budget: The total budget of the sub project is BDT 2,54,70,567 where the CCCP contribution is BDT 2,39,00,000, the OSACA contribution is BDT 5,04,509 and the community contribution is BDT 10,66,058.

ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVMENTS

  • Inception meeting
  • Participatory Rural Appraiser / Focus group discussion
  • Beneficiary selection and profiling
  • Training and technical support for goat rearing
  • Pond excavation and re excavation
  • Installation of sanitary latrines
  • Installation of deep hand tube wells
  • Installation of deep tube wells for irrigation
  • Promotion of drought adaptive agriculture

Inception Meeting:

OSACA organized an inception meeting on 24th June, 2014 which was attended by the upazilla chairman, vice chairman and Upazilla Nirbahi Officer. The chairmen of

the union councils also took part in the meeting. Thirty six participants were present in the meeting. Among the participants, the number of woman was five. All the participants expressed their satisfaction regarding the project. The Upazilla Nirbahi Officer focused on the importance of digging the canals of Lalpur.He also told that digging the canals would create opportunities for employment and irrigation. The Upazilla Chairman suggested that the project should include the Union Chairmen in order to be more successful. The livestock officer of Lalpur expressed his hope that goat farming would reduce poverty.

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) : OSACA aims to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of the beneficiaries in the planning and management of CCCP. The target people of the IAAD have come up with their ways of building resilience. They actively took part in role reversals and feedback sessions. Most of the participants seemed to be enthusiastic about enhancing resilience to drought. The community’s involvement in the project begins at the very start. A participatory community based process is followed in the project. It is the role of the community to assess and plan the activities

Focus Group Discussion (FGD) : The beneficiaries of the IAAD in Lalpur have participated in a focus group discussion organized by OSACA. The participants were asked questions about the climate change related problems and the impact of climate change in their life. They identified the problems and suggested solutions.  People’s perceptions, opinions and attitudes were judged through this discussion. Questions were asked in an interactive group setting where every participant was free to talk with other group members.

Beneficiary Selection and Profiling:

Mobilizing the community, several groups have been formed from out of the poor of the working area. The most affected people of Lalpur Upazilla. The beneficiaries have been selected on the basis of some criteria like ownership of less than 33 decimal land, women headed families and chronic food insecurity, unavailability of support from other agencies, income in the range of BDT 2000 for a family of five and the presence of disable members. A household survey has been conducted by the IAAD staff of Lalpur for profiling and record keeping. The needs of the beneficiaries have been assessed through community meeting and focus group.

Acitvity 1: Training & Technical Support Goat Rearing: Goat rearing is a traditional practice throughout the country. Mainly the poor and marginal people rear goats to support their livelihoods during the lean period. But they face problems in reducing diseases and mortality rate of these livelihood resources. The major problem in traditional process of goat rearing is that people keep goats on soil at night. It makes the goats to inhale methane created from their own urine, and causes bronchitis, cold and other respiratory diseases. To overcome this problem, the sub-project has introduced slatted houses for goats, a proven technology for reducing these diseases. In addition, rural poor people rarely are informed of the vaccination and treatment of goats. The sub-project supports them to make slatted houses for goats, and provides them with training on improved management of goat rearing, vaccine and other veterinary services. These steps have significantly contributed to reducing the prevalence of different diseases among the goats and making them healthier and more productive.

OSACA has trained 1,102 beneficiaries on improved management of goat rearing as part of efforts to reduce climate change impacts on goat health, and 1,102 slatted houses has been installed. This activity is the first of its kind in Lalpur. The people of this locality also responded positively to the goat rearing activity. They have by this time understood that slatted housing will be the proper way of rearing goats for them.

The impacts of this activity are clearly visible in Lalpur. On an average, four-five goats are kept in each slatted house. At present, about five thousand goats are being reared in the selected slatted houses. It plays a very important role in Lalpur’s economic activities. Particular marketplaces have evolved for selling the leaves of jackfruit in response to the growing demand of these leaves, a favourite fodder for the goats. The leaves are sold every morning/afternoon at places like Chinir Mour Bottola, Lalpur Bazar and Bilmaria Bazar. This is an example of how the goat rearing activities are making an impact in the local economy.

Activity 2: Promotion of Drought Adaptive Agriculture: Agriculture is the most vulnerable sector to climate change. Increased temperature, low precipitation and scarcity of water are major problems in crop cultivation in the selected areas. Poor and marginal farmers mainly cultivate rice in the Aman season which is often affected by drought. The problems resulting from the climate change induced drought are given below:

The problems resulting from the climate change induced drought

Sl. Marked Problems Current Activities against Drought Steps to be Taken
01 Unavailability of water is forcing the farmers to cultivate only one crop, viz. sugarcane, leaving other crops. As a consequence, the agricultural labourers remain unemployed. A new dimension has been added to agriculture. Farmers have started cultivating spices and pulses because sugarcane is no more profitable as it once used to be. Appropriate selection of crops in a cyclic manner is the best option. Three crops per year will ensure profitability. This will increase employment of agricultural labourers and also introduce new technologies. On top of that, the farmers will earn more than before.
02 Drought has made scarce the availability of water required for agriculture. As a result, the time for planting seeds fluctuates. Unavailability of surface water forces farmers to use groundwater, which increases the production cost. The layer of underground water in Lalpur is going further down every year and so is the depth of the shallow pumps. The scarcity of water forces the farmers to cultivate only one crop in a year. Sugarcane is the only cash crop that is cultivated every year. In spite of high production costs involved, people have no alternative to relying on underground water for irrigation. The use of agro-technologies can address these problems. Genetically modified crops, which can tolerate drought and take comparatively short time to be harvested, are being cultivated.
03 Climate change has made the seasonal cycle irregular. As a result, drought has been frequent in Lalpur. It rains when it is not needed, but when it’s most needed it does not rain at all. Such irregular rainfall is hampering agriculture. Many in Lalpur cultivate sugarcane to avoid this risk. Some of them also risk the whims of nature to cultivate other crops. At least three crops need to be cultivated in a single season cyclically.
04 Climate change-induced drought has made the sources and reservoirs of water like ponds, canals and rivers go dry, which eventually is telling upon the natural sources of fishes and other aquatic resources. As a result, fishermen are becoming unemployed. The crops sown in the beds of dried-up rivers, canals and ponds sometimes may be at risk due to the insufficient flow of water. The rest of the river bed remains fallow. Rivers, canals and ponds should be re-excavated by the community in a bid to reserve water during the monsoon. Dams aimed at preserving water can be raised on the dead rivers in order to rear fish.
05 Drought hardens the surface of the earth, making farming all the more difficult. Tilling and preparing the land becomes a very a difficult task. On the other hand, soil becomes slippery during the rainy season, which hampers communication. Farmers cannot grow crops in the hardened land. During rainy season, people cannot use the muddy and slippery roads for the purpose of communication and transportation. Excessive use of underground water is allowing the entry of iron into the texture of soil, which is making the soil lumpy and hard. In such situations, lime and ash can be applied to make the texture of soil soft. In addition to this, bio fertilisers can be used to restore the softness of soil.
06 Drought hampers the production of jackfruits, mangoes and litchis. Farmers apply water or insecticides to ensure the desired production. No advice is sought from the agro-scientists. Fruit-bearing trees need to be taken care of in advance (at least 2 months before the arrival of flowers). Sufficient water should be poured around the roots during drought. Advice should be sought from agro-scientists.
07 Excessive level of drought triggers various diseases like cholera, diarrhea, B-virus (jaundice) and dysentery. Drought-induced diseases are usually treated by local quacks. Complex diseases require the patients to go to the Upazila or district level hospitals. Use of safe water for drinking and domestic needs has to be ensured during drought. Homesteads must always be kept neat and clean. Specialist physicians must be consulted in case of complex diseases.

Keeping this in consideration, the sub-project introduces modified cropping pattern with improved varieties of crops. Presently, the selected farmers cultivate BINA-7, a short-duration drought-resilient variety of rice, during the Aman season.

 

Then in Robi season, they cultivate BARI Wheat-24 or BARI Mustard-15 which requires irrigation only twice whereas traditional varieties require it four-six times. And in Pre-kharip season, they cultivate BARI Mug-8 which requires little irrigation and a very short duration to grow. Many of them have already started cultivating fast-growing rice or mustard varieties like BARI-15. Drought-adaptive wheat cultivation has made many beneficiaries self-reliant. OSACA is working to publicise this modified cropping pattern in Lalpur Upazila.

 Comparative advantages of CCCP-promoted cropping pattern: The sub-project compares the improved cropping pattern introduced by the CCCP with the traditional one. The traditional cropping pattern identified by the sub-project is presented in the table below:

 Local Cropping Patterns

Serial No Seasons of Crops
Robi/Boro Kharip-1 Kharip-2
01 Sugarcane Sugarcane Sugarcane
02 Sugarcane+Lentil Sugarcane Sugarcane
03 Sugarcane+Mustard Sugarcane Sugarcane
04 Sugarcane+Coriander Sugarcane Sugarcane
05 Boro (paddy) Fallow Ropa Aman (paddy)
06 Wheat jute Ropa Aman (paddy)
07 Wheat Sesame Ropa Aman (paddy)
08 Lentil Jute Ropa Aman (paddy)
09 Vegetables Vegetables Ropa Aman (paddy)
Source: Department of Agricultural Extension, Lalpur, Natore

Though it shows several types of cropping patterns, most of the land (about 60%) is used for sugarcane farming, a labour-intensive crop harvested only once a year. Barely can the poor and marginal farmers afford its production cost. Besides, Boro paddy is cultivated on a limited scale whereas Ropa Aman is frequently affected by drought. To deal with the situation, the sub-project has selected the drought-tolerant and short-duration cropping pattern given below:

 CCCP-Prescribed Cropping Pattern

Sl. No Seasons of crops
Robi/Boro Kharip-1 Kharip-2
01 Wheat (BARI-24) Mug (BARI-6) Paddy (BINA-7)

Differences between local and CCCP-Prescribed Cropping Patterns

Sl. No Existing Cropping Patterns CCCP-prescribed Cropping Pattern
01 It is quite impossible to harvest three crops per year in the selected area. Each crop grows once a year. As a result, the cost for insecticides increases. It is also inimical to the environment. It is possible to harvest three crops per year successfully. There is no need for using pesticides to curb insect attacks and other such problems.
02 The cropping pattern prevalent in Lalpur is not environment-friendly. The use of old varieties of crops with a long lifespan pollutes environment. Apart from this, the use of excessive pesticides and fertilisers is also harmful to our environment. The CCCP-prescribed cropping pattern gives importance on the use of genetically modified crops which have a high level of immunity from insects and diseases. In addition to this, the pattern is marked by a shorter lifespan of crops, use of round Urea and application of a proper dose of fertilisers. The irrigation system in such farming patterns is environment-friendly as well.
03 The cropping pattern followed at present cannot mitigate the impacts of drought. Sugarcane is the only cash crop in Lalpur. The crops promoted by the CCCP are drought-tolerant. Drought-resilient wheat is being popularised by the CCCP. At the same time, BARI Mug-6 and BARI Mug-8 have also been made popular in Lalpur. These two varieties require a little water and a relatively short period of time for being harvested. These features of tolerance are also found in BRRI Dhan-56 and BINA-07, the life spans of which range between 105 and 110 days. This means they need 20-26 days less than their normal counterparts. These two varieties of paddy are also able to withstand drought for a period of 10-15 days in one spell.
04 Irrigation using underground water mostly results in waste of water. The Boro-jute-Aman and the wheat-jute-Aman patterns are heavily dependent on irrigation. No rule is maintained to retain the efficiency. Drought-tolerant varieties of wheat, pulse and paddy have reduced the wastage of water. Schedules are being strictly followed to irrigate the fields efficiently. Irrigation is not necessary for growing pulse.
05 The cropping pattern prevalent in Lalpur does not improve the fertility of soil. With its balanced features, the CCCP-prescribed cropping pattern is able to retain fertility of the land.

Sowing and Harvesting Periods of Selected Crops

In agriculture, sowing seeds and harvesting crops within a specific time are very important. The variations of time while sowing or harvesting crops may result in increased insect attacks, and may create a wide gulf between the yields of the present year and that of the previous year. So, time plays a great role in growing three crops within a year on a single piece of land. For example, if wheat, pulse and jute successively are grown on a piece of land in a year, the season of Aman paddy will lose 15 or 20 days and the possibility for the paddy to face drought will be very high. In such cases, wheat, lentil (pulse) and Mug beans can be grown successively and it will set aside enough time for the Aman paddy to grow without facing drought. Crops can be easily protected in the original lands where they are generally grown. In such conditions, attacks of insects and diseases become rare as well.

The CCCP-Prescribed Cropping Pattern:

Sl No. Crops Wheat Mug (Pulse) Ropa Aman Paddy
1 Season Robi Kharip-1 Kharip-2
Preparing bed Planting in the field
2 Time of Sowing 01.12.14 10.04.15 13.5.15 16.6.15
3 Time of Harvesting 29.03.15 23.06.15 29.10.15
4 Duration (Days) 119 75 105

 Current Cropping Pattern:

Sl No. Crops Wheat Mug (Pulse) Ropa Aman Paddy
Kharip-2
1 Season Robi Kharip-1 Preparing Bed Planting in the field
2 Time of Sowing 30.11.14 04.03.15 05.07.15 02.08.15
3 Time of Harvesting 01.04.15 28.07.15 10.12.15
4 Duration (Days) 119 114 128

The cropping pattern given above describes that though jute and Mug (pulse) are sown simultaneously; Aman paddy can be easily grown and harvested in the fields where Mug (pulse) is being grown because the difference between the life span of jute and Mug (pulse) is only 39 days. The maintenance of a proper cropping pattern makes the land fertile and reduces the cost of production. The CCCP-prescribed cropping pattern can play a vital role in mitigating the negative effects of climate change.

 

Growth in Farmers’ Income

The farmers used to sow 25-30 kgs of wheat seeds in a bigha of land previously. But, they are given only 20 kgs of wheat seeds under the CCCP supervision now. This has not reduced the rate of production; rather, the production of wheat has increased. The farmers would use only urea, TSP and MOP fertilisers in the past. But, the CCCP management has prescribed six fertilisers after analysing the texture of Lalpur’s soil. The rate of irrigation has now come down from 4-5 times to 2-3. The cultivation of Mug (pulse) did not require irrigation. It has been known through discussion with the farmers that proper management has increased their margin of profit by BDT 3,000-4000 per bigha.

 Preservation of Seeds

Generally, the farmers keep aside seeds from their yields. This kind of reservation helps the farmers a lot, but use of the same seeds brings variations in production. Every farmer has kept 30-40 kgs of seeds for the next year. The farmers were shown how to preserve the seeds of Mug beans on the spot.

 Sustainability of the Activities

It has been proved by following the CCCP-prescribed cropping pattern that proper cropping pattern facilitates the growth of profit through as three crops can be grown in a year on the same piece of land. Cultivation in this way is not much affected by drought. The CCCP-promoted cropping pattern also generates employment opportunities for women, and makes the land fertile. OSACA believes that the farmers across this area will be applying the CCCP-prescribed cropping pattern in order to mitigate the effects of drought.

Activity 3: Installation of Sanitary Latrines:

As per the guidelines of PKSF, 250 CCCP-designed environment-friendly sanitary latrines have been installed in Lalpur. The CCCP termed this design of latrine as “the second generation latrine”. The unique feature of the latrine is that it has a water supply system (a water reservoir is attached to the structure and connected with pipes and taps); a handle inside the latrine for children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities; a ceramic pan; separate pit connected with PVC pipe; tin-roof with sufficient ventilation etc.

Three families use a single latrine. The beneficiaries now maintain the hygienic standards by using sanitary latrines and their medical costs have dropped dramatically. Diseases like cholera, typhoid and dysentery are no more frequent. The beneficiaries are happy to have got such a life-changing help.

Activity 4: Installation of Deep Hand Tube-well:

Ensuring safe drinking water is the biggest challenge in the changed environment. OSACA has installed 193 tube wells successfully in its catchments’ area. Each tube well is being used by 5-7 families. A person selected by the community is given the task to look after each tube well. These tube wells can supply water not only in the monsoon but also during the dry season. Though the installation of tube wells is a traditional solution to scarcity of safe drinking water, the process of OSACA’s intervention is innovative.

A committee was formed and trained on maintenance and management of each tube well. This committee will look after the tube well in the long run. Cluster-based bank accounts were opened to save money for the maintenance of tube wells. A tripartite MoU was signed among the groups, tube well owners and organisations to make the intervention sustainable. It is interesting to note that the beneficiaries have contributed 10% of the total cost in cash. This cash contribution creates and strengthens a sense ownership among the beneficiaries. The poor people now have access to safe water for drinking and other domestic purposes all around the year.

Re-excavation of Pond: Water is one of the most sensitive sectors in the event of climate change. Climate change affects quality, quantity and timing of water. It causes problems of too much water in monsoon and too little water in dry season. In the drought-affected areas of Bangladesh, the re-excavation of ponds helps the locals deal with the scarcity of water by increasing surface water availability for bathing, washing and irrigation. For sustainability of ponds, water-user groups have been formed and tasked with supervision and maintenance of the ponds regularly.

The group members are equipped with knowledge on the adverse effects of climate change. In addition, a bank account is opened with a view to collecting savings for pond management and maintenance. A tri-partite MoU has been signed between OSACA, pond management group and the pond owner. Pricing of water is also planned to increase savings for future maintenance. As of now, eight ponds have been re-excavated in our project area. The people of this area are highly benefited from this activity. Bathing, washing clothes, supplying water to the field and other important work are very easily done now. It also helps maximise use of surface water. OSACA has already been re-excavated 10 ponds in this area.

5. Enrich Program

PKSF has been playing a major role over the past 20 years since its inception in expanding microfinance. The expansion work on microfinance by PKSF has been done both in the vertical and horizontal manner via a number of diversified programs and interventions. In spite of all these, the impact of micro credit on overall poverty level is being questioned more and more in recent times. In addition to that, the efficacy of micro credit as a tool of poverty alleviation has been of questionable significance both nationally and internationally. In view of the growing criticisms with regard to the efficacy of micro credit, the PKSF Governing Body in its meeting dated 28 February, 2010 agreed on piloting a special program named “‘ENRICH” at the grassroots level focused on total household development. The program aims to provide integrated support to each poor family to ensure the best possible utilization of their existing resources along with their capacities and also to enhance their recourses as appropriate. Credit is just one of the many components of ‘Enrich’ program unlike other PKSF led programs.

Enhancing Resources and Increasing Capacities of Poor Households towards Elimination of their poverty (ENRICH) program looks forward to ending poverty by working with the poor household in the selected union in association with the local government and other stakeholders to help households lift themselves out of poverty. The overall goal of the program is to reduce poverty on a sustainable basis towards its total elimination at the household and eventually throughout Bangladesh.

Started from: July, 2014

Current Status: On going

Coverage: Sahapur Union, Ishwardi, Pabna.

Number of Villages: 14

Number of Households: 10596

Number of Population: 45703

Units:  03

Objectives

The objectives of the ENRICH program have been set in view of a holistic approach towards every household. They are as follows:

*To empower the households under the program area to work effectively so that they can reduce their poverty on a sustainable basis towards its ultimate elimination gradually.

*To enable them so that they can enjoy an improved health and nutritional status in the process.

*To help and create a mechanism for them to partner with relevant institutions and larger communities for effective preparedness for responding to natural disasters.

*To put in a place a new and effective method of GO-NGO collaboration for development from below.

Achievement till now

Serial No  Description of Activity Unit/Number Achievement in May,2015 Achievement in the 2015-16 financial year   Total
01 Sale of Health Cards 03 1913
02 Static Clinics 03 1111
03 Number of Patients Treated in Static Clinics 03 4662
04 Satellite Clinics 03 218
05 Number of Patients Treated in Satellite Clinics 03 5327
06 General Health Camps 03 08
07 Number of Patients Treated in General Health Camp 03 1105
08 Special Eye Camp 01 02
09 Number of Patients Treated in Special Eye Camp 01 549
10 Health Awareness  Raising Meetings 03 4326
11 Number of patients tested for diabetes. 03 1662
12 Number of villages having the Enrich School 22 22
13 Number of schools in operation 22 22
14 Number of Students 22 633
15 Students’ Average presence per month 100%  93%
16 Number of Meetings attended by Guardians. 22 66

 

6. Housing Project:

From 2014 to till now osaca has been successfully implementing the housing project in Ishwardi Upazila of Pabna District. This project is funded by Bangladesh Bank. The activities of this Project are given below:

Sl No Phase Number No. of Houses Installation Amount Per House

(Taka)

01 1st 35 50,000/=
02

03

2nd

3rd

35

35

50,000/=

50,000/=

 

7. HYSAWA Project:

From July’2013 to till now, OSACA has been successfully implemented the HYASWA Project in Chatmohor and Bhangura Upazila of Pabna District. Sanitation, Hygiene Education and Safe Water Supply are the main key of this project. Under this project the people of this are highly benefited by getting Sanitation and Safe Water Supply related hardware support.  24,190 latrines are installed in 69,502families by inspiring of this project’s staffs. We have ensured renovation working for latrines and tube-wells in 143 Schools.

Sl No No. of Tube-well Installation No. of Community Latrine Installation No. of Platform of Tube-well Installation
01 2317 60 2050

At the end, we can say that, osaca is working for poor, ultra poor and disadvantaged people which helps to total development of the country.