Setting Up a River Catchment Area Protection Fund

The protection of river catchment areas is a costly affair. The people who guard the river catchment areas against encroachment have to be paid. This costs money. Sometimes, the core river catchment areas have to be fenced off, and this too costs quite a bit of money. At other times, you have to undertake tree planting campaigns, to protect the river catchment areas – and even this requires a lot of money. So, without a doubt, you need to have money, if you are to be successful in protecting river catchment areas. And when it comes to raising this money, you have two options. One option is to be pleading for donations every time something comes up. The other option is set up a fund, from which you can readily draw money when need arises. Needless to say, the latter is the more prudent option. And in setting up a river catchment area protection fund, you need to:

  1. Figure out how much money you need for the effort: here, you need to look at the specific activities you will need to undertake, as part of the river catchment area protection campaign. Then you need to get estimates of what the activities are likely to cost. On top of that, you need to add an allowance for unforeseeable contingencies.
  2. Figure out how you are to raise the funds: you can lobby the local government, for an allocation. You can also lobby local companies or institutions to contribute to the fund, as part of their corporate social responsibility. You also have the option of requesting private individuals for donations — to contribute money to the river catchment area protection fund. A private individual who has chanced upon a windfall may be inclined to contribute to this sort of fund. Take, for instance, someone who works at PepsiCo (meaning the he gets his paystubs through the PepsiCo employees portal, at www.mypepsico.com. Then, on some date, he decides to check out his paystubs. So he proceeds to the My pepsico view login page, signs in, and navigates to the paystubs section – only to learn that he has gotten a huge bonus. Such an individual, given the windfall that has come his way, may be inclined to donate some of the money to the river catchment area protection fund. This is especially likely to be the case if he sees/understands how the river catchment areas protection efforts are likely to be beneficial to him.
  3. Figure out where you are to invest the funds: you need to invest the funds where you can retrieve them at short notice. This should also be somewhere where you can get a decent return on investment, without exposing the funds to undue risks.

The Politics of River Catchment Area Protection

The protection of river catchment areas often turns into a political affair. In  the developing nations, people have a natural tendency to settle in the river catchment areas. When this happens, a point comes where they have to be evicted from such areas. This is because it is very hard – actually it is pretty much impossible – to protect river catchment areas if there are people who have settled there. Such people have to be evicted, before any meaningful protection of the river catchment areas can take place. Yet the people, backed by their political leaders, are likely to resist such eviction. So you end up, on one hand, with the authorities that are in charge of river catchment area protection trying to evict the people who have settled in such areas. And on the other hand, you have the people who have settled in the river catchment areas, backed by their political representatives, resisting the eviction. And that is how the politics of river catchment area protection comes to be.

River catchment area protection politics: understanding the motivations

The politicians who encourage their people to stay put in river catchment areas tend to be motivated by the desire to gain political mileage. So you have to keep this at the back of your mind, while dueling with them. They are not driven by concern for the people per se, but rather, by the desire to gain political mileage.

How to navigate the politics of river catchment area protection

It is not easy to navigate the politics of river catchment area protection. It is definitely not as straightforward an affair as, say, visiting the gift cards portal (at mygiftcardsite.com), and reviewing your transaction history there. It is definitely much more complex than logging onto the Mygiftcardsite portal and reviewing your gift card’s transaction history there. It is, on the contrary, a labyrinth. To successfully navigate the politics of river catchment area protection, you need to come up with highly persuasive arguments – backed by facts and figures. You have to demonstrate how the encroachment of river catchment area is having a negative impact. Then you need to show the protagonists – both the people who have encroached and the politicians urging them to stay put –  how it would be in their best interests, now and in the future, to support the protection of the river catchment areas. You may also need to lobby politicians from other areas to support the protection of river catchment areas. If you can get a critical mass on the other side, they may be enough to ‘shout down’ the politicians who happen to be against the protection of the river catchment areas.

How to avoid the politics of river catchment area protection (in the first place)

It is simple: if you want to avoid the politics of river catchment areas in the first place, ensure that you don’t allow people to settle/encroach on the river catchment areas. Fence off the river catchment areas. Employ guards to protect the river catchment areas. Do whatever it takes to ensure that people don’t settle there in the first place. For once they settle, evicting them becomes a politically complex issue.

Lobbying the Government to Protect a River Catchment Area

It often becomes necessary to lobby the government to protect river catchment areas. Protecting a river catchment area can be an expensive undertaking. Often, it is only the government that can provide the necessary financial resources. Furthermore, protecting a river catchment area often means arresting the people who are interfering with it. Again, only the government is sufficiently empowered to do this. Generally, the protection of river catchment areas tends to be much easier with government assistance. Conversely, trying to protect a river catchment area without government assistance can be an uphill task. Thus lobbying the government to help you protect a river catchment area can be very important. In practical terms, if you want to lobby the government to help you in this sort of undertaking, you need to:

  1. Create a proposal: you have to be very specific, about what needs to be done, in protecting the river catchment area. You need to refine your proposal, to ensure that it is very concise. You need to turn it into some sort of ‘pitch’. Remember, you will probably only have a few minutes to sell the proposal to the relevant government officials. It therefore has to be concise, yet also very persuasive.
  2. Approach the relevant government officials: this is a question of figuring out who the relevant government officials are. Then you can book an appointment with them – and ensure that you actually attend the meeting. So you need to ensure that the time you book an appointment for is one that is convenient both for you and for the government officials you will be seeing. If you are employed somewhere, you may need to ask for time off well in advance, to attend the meeting. Like if, for instance, you work for a company like Nordstrom, you may need to visit the MyNordstrom website, to request for time off work – so as to attend the meeting with the government officials. That would be just a matter of going to the Mynordstromlogin page, signing in, then clicking on the link for ‘schedules’ – and then requesting for time off. Just ensure that the time you choose is one that is convenient for both yourself and the government officials you will be seeking to approach.
  3. Sell the proposal to the government officials: the objective here is to get the officials to understand why they need to assist you in protecting the river catchment area. You need to give them a proper cost-benefit analysis: showing them the resources they need to devote to the protection of the river catchment area, and the benefits they stand to derive.
  4. Follow up with the government officials: even after managing to sell your proposal successfully to the government officials, you may still need to follow up with them, in order to ultimately get the required assistance. Remember, these officials usually get many proposals. And when all is said and done, it is only the proposals that are well followed up on that are eventually acted upon.

Creating a River Catchment Area Protection Plan

Before launching a river catchment area protection project, it is important to create a plan first. The plan would guide your activities, to ensure that you don’t lose focus at any point. If you launch a river catchment area protection project without a plan, you are very likely to fail. You are almost certainly bound to fail. This is because your activities will be haphazard, and won’t know whether you are progressing in the right direction or not. Launching a river catchment are project without a plan is akin to scheduling work on the Myloweslife portal without having a specific framework in mind. Obviously, if you go about it in that way, you could end up with very low productivity. Therefore, it is very important for you to create a river catchment area protection plan. The actual process of creating the plan entails:

  1. Identifying the threats to the river catchment area: this has to be the starting point – where you identify the specific things you will be protecting the river catchment area from.
  2. Identifying the envisaged mitigation measures: the most important thing here is to list the envisaged mitigation areas, and try to see just how viable they are (given the practical realities).
  3. Identifying the resources you need: here, you work out how much money you need to implement the mitigation measures identified above, how much human resource you need… and so on. You also need to work out whether or not it will be easy for you to raise the resources, and how exactly you plan to go about it. For instance, with respect to the human resources, you may need to hire people (as employees) or alternatively try to persuade people to work on a voluntary basis in protecting the river catchment area.
  4. Identifying the major milestones to be attained: these are critical, for it is only through them that you would be in a position to know whether you are making progress or not, once you start implementing the plan.

Empowering Community Members to Protect River Catchment Areas

One of the most effective ways to protect river catchment areas is by empowering the members of the communities living around the said river catchment areas. This approach is likely to be more effective (and less expensive) than hiring guards to protect the river catchment areas. It can also be more effective, and at the same time less costly, than fencing off the river catchment areas. The actual process of empowering community members to protect river catchment areas entails a number of things.

The first step is to educate the members of the local communities on the importance of the river catchment areas. The goal here is to get them to see why it would be in their best interests to protect the river catchment areas.

The second step is to get the members of the local communities to know the exact ocations of the river catchment areas. The exact locations of the river catchment areas can be ambiguous, hence the need for them to be clearly delineated.

The third step is to enlighten the members of the local communities on the specific strategies they need to use in protecting the river catchment areas.

The fourth step is to give the members of the local communities the tools they need to protect the river catchment areas successfully. Let’s say, for instance, that the local community members are expected to venture out at night to monitor people who carry out unauthorized activities in the river catchment areas. In that case, it would be important to equip them with torches, heavy clothing to protect them from the cold, gumboots… and so on. Don’t expect them to buy this kind of stuff for themselves. Remember, the average community member may, for instance, be a Walmart1 associate — that is, someone who works at the local Walmart outlet. It would then be very unfair to expect such a person to use the meager paychecks he receives at www.walmartone.com to buy the stuff he needs for the voluntary work in protecting the river catchment areas. The least you can do is to provide him the necessary tools for the wok.

Hiring Guards to Protect River Catchment Areas

One of the ways in which river catchment areas can be protected is by hiring guards. The guards’ responsibility would be to ensure that people don’t undertake prohibited activities in the river catchment areas. The guards would, for instance, ensure that people don’t build on the river catchment areas. The guards would also ensure that people don’t cut the trees in the river catchment areas, among other duties.

Before hiring guards to protect river catchment areas, it is important to figure out where the money to pay them would be coming from. The money can be drawn from local taxes. Or the non-governmental organizations whose work revolves around environmental conservation can chip in…

Having secured the money to be paying the guards, the next step would that of actually recruiting the guards. This may just be  a question of creating an ad, announcing that you are seeking to hire guards for river catchment areas, and inviting interested people to apply. Then you can shortlist the applicants, subject the shortlisted candidates to interviews, and ultimately hire the best ones.

After recruiting the guards, it would be necessary to give them the training they need to be efficient in protecting the river catchment areas.

Once the guards are fully trained, the next step would be to deploy them, to protect the river catchment areas. And having deployed the guards, it would be necessary to create a supervisory framework for them. The goal here would be to ensure that the guards do their work effectively.  It would also be important to ensure that the guards are treated decently in their line of work, if they are to be effective and loyal in their duties. This means giving the guards instructions in a respectful manner, and correcting them respectively when they fail. It also means paying them in a timely manner. You should even consider setting up a portal, where they can be accessing their paystubs, work schedules and benefits information online. The portal can be modeled in a manner similar to the UPSers portal (the one for UPS employees). The said portal is designed to be accessed through the UPSers login page. Upon entering the portal’s URL into their browsers, the Upsers (that is, people who work at UPS) are taken to the login page, where upon signing in, they are able to access their work-related details. You can set up a similar portal for the guards you employ to guard the river catchment areas. The goal would be to get the guards to develop a feeling that theirs is a genuine job – as good as any other. That would be important in being able to retain them in the long run.

Using Legislation to Protect River Catchment Areas

One of the ways in which river catchment areas can be protected is through legislation. If people can’t be persuaded not to abuse river catchment areas, they may have to be forced. And in that case, the starting point would be in legislation: where, firstly, laws are created outlawing certain activities on the river catchment areas. Then, if the laws are enforced in a consistent manner, the end result would be a situation where the river catchment areas would be well protected. The specific steps to be followed when seeking to use legislation to protect river catchment areas include:

  1. Lobbying legislators: if the legislation to protect the river catchment areas is to pass, it will have to be supported by the legislators. And for the legislators to support it, they will have to see the point in it. To get the legislators to see the point in it, you have to lobby. You can do the lobbying by yourself. Or you can engage professional lobbyists to do it for you.
  2. Drafting the legislation proposal: here, you start by identifying the ways in which the river catchment areas need to be protected. Then you draft legislation in a manner that addresses all the areas of concern. You can do the drafting by yourself. Or you can opt to pay a professional legal drafter to do the drafting for you. The drafting work is not likely to be costly. It may actually turn out to be the sort of thing you can finance comfortably using your paycheck. As such, you may check your employer’s Securitas Epaytalx paperless guide, and discover that your paychecks are supposed to be ready by the 30th of every month. Subsequently, you may go to the Securitasepay login screen and sign in, only to find that your paycheck is ready. You’d then be in a position to use the money to finance the drafting of the legislation. All this would, of course, only apply if you opted to pay a professional to draft the legislation for you.
  3. Having the legislation passed: if you were successful in lobbying the legislators to support the legislation, you should have no difficulty in having it passed.
  4. Getting people to know about the legislation: once the legislation is passed, you will need to get people to know about it. That is the only way they can start respecting it. So the most important thing here is to create publicity around the new legislation, and the kinds of activities it outlaws.
  5. Having the legislation enforced: it may be necessary to create a specialized law enforcement agency, to enforce the new legislation. Alternatively, the existing law enforcement agencies can be tasked to enforce the new legislation (as part of their expanded mandate).

Fencing River Catchment Areas

One way to protect river catchment areas is by fencing them. If all other methods of protecting river catchment areas fail, then, as a last resort, they have to be fenced. Otherwise there is the possibility of the rivers that are supported by the catchment areas drying up. The process of fencing off the river catchment areas entails:

Identifying the river catchment areas

This is not as easy as it sounds. River catchment areas tend to be wide, and identifying the delicate spots that need to be protected by way of fencing can be quite hard. Matters are not made any easier by the fact that people may already have encroached on the delicate spots. This would mean that they first have to evicted, before proceeding with the fencing work.

Securing funds to finance the fencing project

Fencing a river catchment area is likely to be expensive. Money has to be spent buying the fencing materials, and paying the people who will be erecting the fence. So securing the necessary funds will probably not be as simple as, say, going to the First Premier Bank credit card login page, accessing your account, and withdrawing a few thousand bucks for the project. On the contrary, securing the necessary funds to finance the fencing of a river catchment area may entail having to lobby the local government. Or it may entail having to get local companies to finance the project as part of the corporate social responsibility.

Buying the fencing materials:

Once you manage to secure the funds to finance the fencing project, the next task will be that of buying the fencing materials. It will be a better idea to order for all the materials you need for the entire project at once (in bulk), in order to benefit from the economies of scale and to receive bulk discounts.

Doing the actual fencing work:

You may decide to hire people directly, to do the actual fencing work. Alternatively, you may opt to engage a contractor, who can then come with his people to erect the fence. You have to understand that putting up a proper fence requires certain skills. It is not as easy as it looks. If you lack the skills to do it the right way, then you may have no choice but to engage a contractor to do it for you.

How to Ensure That People Don’t Build on River Catchment Areas

One of the best ways to protect our rivers is by ensuring that people don’t build on river catchment areas. River catchment areas tend to be quite delicate. This is especially the case for rivers whose original catchment areas are mountain springs, those that emanate from forests and those that rise from riparian zones. But most people are not aware of the delicate nature of river catchment areas. Given a chance, some people will go ahead and build on such areas – without caring about what happens to the rivers downstream. Therefore certain measures have to be taken, to ensure that people don’t build on river catchment areas.

One way to ensure that people don’t build on river catchment areas is through legislation. That is by putting in place a law that makes it illegal for people to build in such areas. This should entail lobbying the legislators, to place such a law on the legislative agenda.

Another way to ensure that people don’t build on river catchment areas is by simply fencing off the river catchment areas, and turning them into ‘protected zones’. Then people who trespass into the said river catchment areas can be held to account.

Yet another way to ensure that people don’t build on river catchment areas is by educating them — so as to get them to understand why they shouldn’t build on such areas. People are generally good and rational — and if they are shown why something isn’t in their best interests, they will tend to avoid it. I experienced this first hand when CVS was introducing its online HR portal: which is also known as myhr CVS caremark. Once people were educated on the advantages they stood to get from such a system, they embraced it wholeheartedly. Similarly, if the people are shown why it is not in their best interests to build on river catchment areas, they will tend to desist from doing so. This approach is cheaper than trying to fence off all the river catchment areas, especially the ones that are expansive. It is also cheaper than deploying guards to ensure that people don’t trespass into the river catchment areas.

How to Protect River Catchment Areas

River catchment areas need special protection. If the river catchment areas are not properly protected, it is easy for the rivers that depend on them to dry up. And when rivers dry up, the consequences are not good. If , for instance, any specific river dries up, the people who depend on its waters end up being in great difficulty. It is important to appreciate that even in the most advanced nations, huge populations of people still depend on river water to a great extent. It is just that the water is not drawn directly from the rivers. Rather, it is dammed, and then treated, before being pumped to the people who need it. But it still comes from rivers. Furthermore, if rivers dry up due to poor protection of the catchment areas, the flora and fauna in the rivers would also be greatly endangered. That can be disastrous, from an ecological point of view. Given these sorts of facts, it becomes clear that the protection of river catchment areas is a high priority undertaking. The question that arises is as to how the river catchment areas can be protected.

There are three obvious steps that need to be taken, in terms of river catchment areas protection.

Firstly, the river catchment areas need to be identified. Every river has a catchment area. Some rivers emanate from mountain springs. Others emanate from lakes (as outlets to the lakes). Others still emanate from forests… and so on. The catchment areas have to be identified.

Secondly, after identifying the river catchment areas, the relevant protection measures need to be identified. That is, the specific things that need to be done, to protect those catchment areas. Environmental science specialists, ecologists, hydrologists and other relevant experts can provide the advice.

Thirdly, the river catchment protection measures that are identified need to be implemented consistently. Procedures and standards need to be developed, to ensure that those measures are consistently implemented, so as to protect the river catchment areas.