01 Apr Helping Kalikot cope with disaster and improve livelihoods
The disruption caused by the Covid pandemic to our partners’ work in Nepal was probably most acute for new projects which were getting established in early 2020. This was the case in Kalikot, the remote western district where INF Nepal was only three months into a new Community Resilience and Development project when Covid struck.
Community projects such as this were put on hold during the national lockdown from March to June. However, seeing people struggling with the restrictions and unable to work to provide for their families, INF Nepal handed out food packages to 200 households in Kalikot.
Then in July 2020 disaster struck the Naraharinath rural municipality with landslides caused by the monsoon rains. Thirteen people were killed and more than 200 families were displaced, either because their houses were damaged or they were in areas at risk of further landslides.
Hansa lives in Ruspa, one of the poorest and most remote villages in Naraharinath, with his wife and four children. His family has a small piece of land which is only enough to provide food for 3-4 months each year.
He said: “I have few hens, two goats and a buffalo. We make butter from buffalo milk and sell the butter and hens. It helps us for making some income. But this income is not enough for the living of my family. In order to compensate the food deficit and to fulfil other basic needs, I used to go India in the winter season.”
Hansa joined the village’s self-help group and has already taken part in training to improve farming. He added: “Now I have learnt about seasonal and off-seasonal vegetables farming and I also can prepare and apply organic pesticides which will help us in pest control and management. We hope that this will help to increase our agriculture yield.
“INF Nepal has shown a great hope to the communities who have suffered much from the disasters and livelihood issues. We are very hopeful that the project will help us to cope with the disaster and improve our livelihoods.”
During the remainder of 2020 some good progress was made. 90 self-help groups have been established across all nine wards in Naraharinath, with just under 2,000 members (80% of whom are female and 62 people with disabilities) to identify local issues and agree on community-led solutions.
Plans developed so far include to construct an irrigation system, make a safe drinking water system, maintain walking trails, and build a cover for vegetable farming.
Representatives from all 90 self-help groups have received training to help improve farming techniques, improve vegetable yields, make their own herbal pesticides, and develop their management of livestock.