The Great Wall of Surajpura

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    CGIAR Initiative on National Policies and Strategies
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The following excerpt is from a post by Roli Srivastava, a journalist at The Migration Story, originally published on

Surajpura, Rajasthan: The villagers of Surajpura in Rajasthan have built a wall: a 15-feet mud bulwark that snakes through vast barren land for nearly a mile, with an equally long trench dug painstakingly beneath it. The soil even today appears loose but the wall passed its strength test last year when it arrested rainwater runoffs, and the trench channelled the water to parched farms in the drought-prone region, reviving them for the first time in over two decades.

For the 650 residents of this village in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, who toiled on the wall for six months in 2022, it is nothing short of an architectural marvel. For climate advocates, it’s a case study in climate resilience powered by an Indian social welfare policy, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA). One of the world’s biggest job programmes, climate activists are increasingly citing MGNREGA’s role in building water security in villages amid growing climate uncertainties.

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Roli Srivastava, Journalist, The Migration Story

This work is part of the CGIAR Research Initiative on National Policies and Strategies (NPS). CGIAR launched NPS with national and international partners to build policy coherence, respond to policy demands and crises, and integrate policy tools at national and subnational levels in countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. CGIAR centers participating in NPS are The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (Alliance Bioversity-CIAT), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Potato Center (CIP), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and WorldFish. We would like to thank all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund 

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