27 Apr Breaking new ground in Kalikot
A new community resilience and development project is INF’s first venture into Kalikot, one of Nepal’s poorest districts, situated in mid-western Nepal.
Over the next two years this project hopes to improve the lives of more than 3,000 people – particularly those who are poor, marginalised and excluded – strengthening resilience and improving the livelihoods and health of people living in this unforgiving landscape. The focus will be on the most vulnerable in society, such as women, people with disabilities, children and lower caste groups.
Life in Kalikot
Sunil Bishwokarma is 23 years old and lives in a village called Kumalgaun, in the Naraharinath area of Kalikot. The village is situated on the side of high mountain slopes, with no road connection and about six hours’ walk to the nearest point of the district’s main access route, the Karnali Highway.
Sunil’s family – including his parents, wife and young son, along with his three siblings (aged 12-20) – live in their house made of stone and mud. Sunil works as a local labourer on minimal daily wages, but his eldest brother often goes to India in search of similar manual work.
On a small amount of land, only part of which benefits from seasonal irrigation, they can grow enough rice, maize and wheat to provide for 3-4 months’ food consumption. For the rest of the year, Sunil’s family depends on the money sent by his brother working in India.
Kumalgaun is very prone to droughts, which have affected local agriculture so the production of wheat has declined over last few years. As the village is located on a hillside, it is also vulnerable to landslides during the rainy season.
Creating new opportunities
The Kalikot project will implement a wide range of activities – developing inclusive and empowered communities, creating sustainable livelihoods, improving health, and strengthening community resilience to disaster and climate change. Much of this will be delivered through self-help groups led by community members, which will take collective actions to resolve common issues and implement action plans to help improve their situation.
Over the next two years this project plans to help:
- Create opportunities for poor and marginalised people to carry out income-generating activities, as well as receive training on vocational skills and creating businesses.
- Increase agricultural productivity by developing skills. This will improve farming methods and help people adopt climate-resilient technologies such as micro irrigation, as well as develop crop diversification and organic farming.
- Provide seed money to generate revolving funds, so people can borrow money to start or expand businesses, fulfil daily needs, or pay for their children’s education. • Deliver education and orientation sessions on gender and disability issues, to help marginalised groups become aware of their rights, and raise awareness of these issues in the wider community.
- Develop a structure and mechanism that enables communities to deal with natural disasters and implement local disaster risk reduction measures.
- Promote safer health and hygiene practices, covering issues such as maternal and child healthcare, nutrition, communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS and STIs.
The main geographical focus will be the Naraharinath Rural Municipality, where some of the main issues people face in their daily lives are caused by poor food security, few opportunities to earn an income, widespread gender inequality, poor health and hygiene practices, and a significant threat of natural disaster.
Give hope to the people of Kalikot
This project requires a significant commitment from INF/UK over the next two years, but as a result of an agreement with a German funding partner every £25 given via INF/UK releases a total of £100 project funding.