Organizing Earthquake Affected Rural/Indigenous Women for Livelihood Support
The 2015 earthquakes in Nepal exposed a lot of weaknesses in our system. The government was not ready for supporting and relieving people. Policies and regulations were not good enough to deal with such calamities. Donors and NGOs also did not have strategies to deal with such situations. Support started pouring in which created chaos, some people got more than needed and some have not received any. Those who were not affected but powerful got more benefit than others. As local governments’ election has not taken place for long just by government employees could not respond responsibly. The all parties’ mechanism was not effective and very partisan. Government also went on changing policies and rules creating more chaos which has not still stopped.
Natural disasters are becoming a day-to-day events because of unplanned and unregulated growth of urban areas, road constructions without considering geological condition, stone and sand collections from streams and forests, use of mechanical instruments to make earth vulnerable, extreme climatic conditions, and so on. Unless people understand all these factors do something to prevent and adapt Nepalese people will go through the calamities very frequently. Just this year after January diseases spread in Jajarkot and Kathmandu, then earthquake which dominated everything, then landslides in Taplejung, etc. All these destroying human and natural resources. The relief system used is making people dependent and beggars. It may be quite difficult overcome this mentality and make people responsible to their own work, livelihood and safety.
About five million people are abroad and they are mostly young and energetic people. So Nepal’s villages are mostly inhabitated by old people, children and women. Most of land is barren. Traditional skills and livelihood are dying out. Extreme weather and climatic conditions are creating havoc which people are not ready to cope with. For this reason, those who are available need awareness of situation, come together to cope with this situation at the family and community level. As women are available and main decision makers at the household level they need to be involved in decision making level. Also to engender ownership of program they need to be the informed decision maker. Community forestry process itself is a guidance to this process. Until government blamed people for destruction and kept them away from decision making all efforts of nursery, plantation, protection went in vain. Forest destruction at the 3.9% per year continued. But as soon as users are involved in decision making, planning and management community forestry became one of the most successful program and forests were protected and managed. Similar process has to be initiated in the family resource and ecosystem management including disasters preparedness. WATCH with support from local women’s organizations and groups like to initiate a pilot in Harkapur, Prapcha and Shree Chaur villages of the Molung Vllage Municipality of Okhaldhunga District.
Molung (Nepali: मोलुङ गाउँपालिका) is a rural municipality (gaunpalika) out of seven rural municipality located in Okhaldhunga District of Province No. 1 of Nepal. There are a total of 8 mu nicipalities in Okhaldhunga in which 1 is urban and 7 are rural. According to Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development Molung has an area of 112 square kilometres (43 sq mi) and the total population of the municipality is 15862 as of Census of Nepal 2011. The perennial Molung river flows from the middle of the riral municipality. Besides, several other strems and rivulets crisscross the area. Because of this the area is supposed to be the granary of Okhaldhunga. Because there are a few well known traditional irrigation systems which irrigate its fertile land.
Godawari is a municipality in Lalitpur District in Province No. 3 of Nepal that was established on 2 December 2014 by merging the former Village development committees Old-Godawari, Badikhel, Bisankhunarayan, Godamchaur and Thaiba. The municipality area was again expanded in March 2017 to include in total 12 previous VDCs. The six VDCs added were Devichaur, Dukuchhap, Chhampi, Thecho, Chapagaun, Jharuwarasi and Lele. The center of this rural municipality is located at Bajrabarahi. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census it had a population of 78,301 people living in 17,762 individual households. It is one of the popular hiking destinations in Nepal for its rich wildlife and splendid environment.Godawari is also famous for its botanical garden.”Phulchowki” is located in Godawari which is the highest peak in kathmandu valley.
Molung is one of the worst hit area of Okahldhunga by the earthquake. Many dirt roads criss-cross the area and also the small streams and rivulets. Because of the roads and earthquake Almost 50% of population was affected. The area used to have higher caste Brahmin Chhetris but gradually they have moved to other better areas. Still about 50% of population are Brahmin Chhetris. The project will work in the three wards: 3,4,, and 5 wards namely Harkapur, Prapcha and Shree Chaur villages. These wards lie in the western watershed of the Molung river. In the bottom plain area there are mostly Brahmin, Chhetris and untouchables mainly Damai, Kami. In the upper ridge Sunuwar, Tamang and Gurung indigenous people live. There are three big landslides which are threatening the area. In these three wards about 1250 families or household are affected by the earthquake.
Godawari is also worst hit area of Lalitpur. WATCH plans work in two wards (7 and 8) where there are mostly Tamang and Danuwar villages. As their houses were not well built so the earthquake devastated their settlements.
WATCH started a pilot project “Rural Women’s Leadership through Ecosystem Management and Poverty to Prosperity Exercise” in Harkapur and Godawari area. WATCH formed 13 women’s groups and later with demand from the area it expanded to Prapcha and Shree Chaur villages. Just last year. Tweleve women’s groups are formed in this new area also. Thus, there are 24 women’s griups in three wards: 3,4, and 5 of the Molung Village Municipality. There are 18 women’s groups in Godavari area haing about 350 women. There are about 1250 families affected by the 2015 earthquake. The families are constructing their houses with support from the government. For various reasons some time will take to complete the houses. At the same time, some of thr poorest families are having problems of livelihood. Able bodied young members of the families are gone abroad but their income is almost used up for paying interest for the loan taken to send them abroad. The proposed project will support those poorest families who are facing problems of livelihood.
Goal and Objectives
The goal of the project is to assist the earthquake affected 250 poorest families to sustain their livelihood by managing their own resources for productions.
- Change dependency mentality of earthquake affected families from “I can not” to “I can and I Will Do”
- To develop family level “Poverty to Prosperity” exercises to manage family level resources of 250 poorest earthquake affected families..
- Select 250 earthquake affected poorest families by well-being ranking and in consultation with the women’s groups.
- Conduct conceptual reorientation to change mentality of the participants: move away from dependency and move ahead with own efforts
- Develop 250 household level Poverty to Prosperity plans and implement 60 of them
- Create a revolving fund from the investment so that others also can be supported regularly.
- Develop 12 new ecosystem management plans in ward 3 and 4 and provide small support to implement a few of the ecosystem management plans to stabilize the area.
- Conduct Lesson Learning and wider experience sharing and coordination
- Lesson learning workshop with staff and partners
- Dissemination of project and lesson learning at the district level.
- Family Level:
Poverty and lack of food securities invite disasters both at the family level and natural resources. Poverty is not only the lack of economic resources. It is also effects of mentality (I can not, I do not have, I do not know) mentality inculcated by society; social and gender discriminations, exploitations, lack of equitable distribution of resources, control of government and other resources by already “haves” and elites; lack of knowledge and information about the fit technologies and other alternatives, etc. WATCH is piloting “Poverty to Prosperity” Exercises in a pilot scale where family try to identify their own resources, decide on whether those resources are efficiently managed to their satisfaction, if not how they can improve to their satisfactions, what possibilities are there and how those can be utilized, what barriers are there and how they can be overcome or managed. Based on these discussions by using resource mapping and transect walks, a detailed plan of action: immediate and long-term plan is developed, implemented and regularly monitores and supported
As main resources being human, land and government. The plan will focus on utilizing available human and natural resources. It also maps resources available from other civil societies and government and informs them how to access them so that they start gaining support from other resources also. It is a longer term process where the family moves slowly step by step towards self sufficiency.
- Community Level
At the community level. Women’s groups of 25-40 women are formed or collaborated with already existing groups. Other possible youth groups, farmers’ groups. Forestry groups, irrigartion groups, drinking water groups, etc. will also be the collaborators or actors. At the community level, two plans: watershed level and basin level, are developed with the support from these groups. PRA tools like sketch mapping, resource mapping, possible hazard mapping, transect walk, time-line, seasonal calendars, etc. will be used for developing plans through dialogue and discussions.
WATCH will conduct activities with women’s groups and its federation in Okhaldhunga. Women’s groups and mothers’ groups will also be critical because they are the ones who will participate in training, planning and implementation. Besides local level government agencies and district level agencies also need to cooperate specially in planning and implementation.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
A family level database regarding their present situation and mind set will be collected and folder for each family is developed. Every year the same database will be updated to see what changes and actions have been taken place. Each family also prepares the “Poverty to Prosperity” action plan and every three the action plan is followed up updated. At the community level and area level action plans are prepared and every year they are followed up and updated. Capacity building efforts are monitored through session plans, attendance and training evaluations. In the quarterly and annual meetings process, products, and impacts are discussed and assessed. Based on that future course is decided. The project will follow the learning process approach rather than a blueprint. It will focus more on process-change-process approach. At the end of the project a lesson learning workshop is conducted with staff, partners, and selected women’s representatives and disseminated to the local level and district level. All these are properly documented. Every six months financial and progress reports are submitted to the donors, local and district government, and partner agencies.
The project is planned to be implemented in 12 months for which the following budget is required;
- Human Resources: Nepali Rs.
- Project Manager: agriculture person: Rs. 40000 480000
- Social Mobilizer 1: 20000 240000
- Support Staff: 1 15000 180000
- Consultant: 20 days @ 10000 a day 200000
- Cpacity Building;
1.Conceptual Orientation for 250 persons for 2 days @ 300 a day 150000
- Ecosystem Management Plan and Awareness; 2 days for 400 240000
- Poverty to Prospertiy Awareness 250 p @ 300 a day 75000
- Inception, Team Nuilding/Planning, Orientation, etc. 135000
- Lesson Learning Dissemination 50 people Rs 1000 50000
- Development Activities:
1.Poverty to Prosperity plans Suppot for 60 families 30000 1800000
- Distribution of one month old chicks, goats, etc. 1240000
- Seeds and seedlings distribution 350000
- Nursery support 50000
- Chicks brooding support 100000
- Drip irrigation 200000
- Plastic Tunnels 500000
- Ecosystem Management Plan Support 600000
- Travel, transport, and Perdiem
- Vehical Hiring 12 times @ 15000 per trip 180000
- Local transport 5000 a month 60000
- Per-diem: 300 days Rs. 400 a day 120000
- Communication 5000 a month 60000
- Office Expenses
1.Site Office Rental 5000 a month 60000
- Office supplies and Utilities: 2500 a month 30000
- Stationery 5000 a month 60000
- SWC Evaluation 100000
5 Audit Fee 50000
Grand Total 7,283,191.00