Upgrading Watermills in Uttarakhand, India

One of our SEPS projects in India aims to improve traditional watermills by replacing wooden equipment to make them more efficient and to demonstrate the importance of this technology in Uttarakhand, a mountainous region of the country.

Currently only around 65% of 15,000 traditional watermills in Uttarakhand remain in operation – despite abundant rivers and streams fed directly by the surrounding Himalayan peaks. In addition to repairing and upgrading non-operational mills, our project partners at the Institute for Development Support aim to offer capacity-building and hands-on training to mill operators and establish new marketing opportunities for processed products, which will in turn generate revenue for local communities.

Over recent months, a number of working steps have been successfully completed. These include:

  • A detailed baseline survey (socioeconomic data) and technical feasibility study
  • Raising awareness and mobilising local communities (particularly motivating women to participate)
  • Technical training for water mill owners / operators
  • Formation and strengthening of self-help working groups at community-level (around 600 participants)
  • Administration, accounting and management training for members of self-help groups
  • Identification of potential products for production (including wheat, maize and amaranth flours)

Next steps will include the technical upgrades of the water mills, which should start by the end of June 2017. 

For more general information on this SEPS project, please visit Establishment of Demand-Driven Sustainable Improved Watermill Cluster in the State of Uttarakhand, India

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