Community Initiatives toward building resiliency

Munuwa-7, Jawalpur cluster, one of the severely flood disaster prone areas living 33 households as a community. During monsoon, the community people have to face many problems like loss of properties and life, crop damage and land erosion due to floods disasters. Since floods come each year, it becomes common phenomenon for them. There are two rivers namely Kulariya and Pathariya which encircle the community. The flood converted most of the cultivable land into sandy and unproductive land and washed away. That resulted food insufficiency for them and compelled to migrate outsides as seasonal laborers.

Rice1Since January 2012, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Nepal in partnership with Digo Bikash Samaj (a local implementing partner of LWF Nepal) started to work in this community under Nepal Development Program. It focused on social empowerment, resilient livelihood, income generation and poverty reduction. Before January 2013, project was implemented without integrating DRR into livelihood activities that didn’t make the livelihood initiatives more safer. With the lesson of 2013, LWF Nepal started to “Integrate DRR & CCA into livelihoods”. The community has developed action plans after Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (PCVA) whereas identified potential disaster risks, their capacities and gaps to withstand against worst situations. They also established community grain bank and emergency fund to utilize during monsoon period as coping strategy.  Besides that, project also supported group members to establish micro- enterprises, banana farming and leasehold vegetable farming in winter season to get them self-employed.

Based on their Disaster Risk Reduction plan, the community members motivated to implement mitigation activities. They constructed low cost bio-engineering schemes (soil dam) of 250 meter along the river bank to make the village safer. In addition to the project they have received financial supports from VDC and along with their own contribution as a labor work. Furthermore, the members also planted 500 numbers of bamboo saplings and local grass called Narkat as multipurpose plants as sources of income generation in addition to river bank protection. For the purpose of preparedness to resilient community, the project supported grain bank and emergency fund where stocked 1350 kg rice, 150 kg pulses, 1500 kg paddy and established emergency fund of NPR 10,000.00 respectively. They have been organizing different events to increase their fund as well as made imperishable; Deusi celebration, monthly saving and seasonal grain collection. They used to distribute grains during emergency period as loan and replace at the crops’ harvest season like money at Bank.

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Though community also faced floods during last monsoon of 2014, damage was very less in comparison to previous years. No any human causality and none of them loosed their farm land. The settlement faced inundation problems and displaced for three days resides at VDC Office of Munuwa and local School as temporary shelter. In the mean time, they had been used rice and pulses from grain bank and provided fast food items; noodles, beaten rice and biscuits to children and elderly persons by utilizing emergency funds at their stock. Later on, partially affected HHs received relief items in close coordination with DDRC however it was peanuts for them. Now, they are coordinating with concerned stakeholders to protect their river bank and for other DRR safety net measures. The group members are carrying out regular discussions on the issues in their groups. There is increased trend on preparedness and mitigation to withstand against potential disaster and climate risk. They have also developed linkages with early warning mechanism at district level and have well trained taskforces teams. Similarly, community people are planning to construct plinth raised houses and shelter to make family members safer from inundation problems as well.