It takes a village: the Indian farmers who built a wall against drought

IWMI commissioned this article following fieldwork conducted on the political economy of policy processes in India, under the CGIAR Initiative on National Policies and Strategies.

The villagers of Surajpura have built a wall: a 15ft (4.5 metre) mud bulwark that snakes through barren land for nearly a mile, with an equally long trench dug beneath it. It might not look like it, but for the 650 residents who toiled on it for six months in 2022, it is an architectural marvel. The wall passed its strength test last year when it stopped rainwater runoffs, and the trench channelled the water to parched farms in the drought-prone region of Rajasthan in north-west India, reviving them for the first time in more than two decades.

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