Changes Requested in the AIFO Project Because of the Corona Pandemic

Changes Requested in the AIFO Project Because of the Corona Pandemic

Background WATCH has proposed AIFO to support earthquake victims of Ward 7 and 8 of Godavari Municipality, Lalitpur and Ward 3,4,5and 6 of Molung Rural Municipality of Okahldhunga Districts. Originally the following objectives and activities were set.

Objectives:

  1. Change dependency mentality of earthquake affected families from “I can not” to “I can and I Will Do”                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  2. Develop family level “Poverty to Prosperity” exercises to manage family level resources of 250 poorest earthquake affected families..

Activities:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  1. Select 250 earthquake affected poorest families by well-being ranking and in consultation with the women’s groups.
  2. Conduct conceptual reorientation to change mentality of the participants: move away from dependency and move ahead with own efforts
  3. Develop 250 household level Poverty to Prosperity plans and implement 60 of them
  4. Create a revolving fund from the investment so that others also can be supported regularly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

 

Progress until Now:

In terms of objectives, both the objectives are achieved in a way.

 

In terms of activities: the first activity of selecting 250 earthquake affected poorest families by well-being ranking and in consultation with the women’s groups were completed. As all in the groups are involved being poorest in terms of well-being ranking in the beginning, well being ranking again was not done but victims were selected in consultation with the women’s groups. 33 women’s groups have 1240 members of which 812 are earthquake affected. 241 affected were selected for the purpose of the project. There are 32 women’s groups in Lalitpur. 10 women’s groups were selected in which there are 241 members of which 191 are earthquake affected and 31 are selected as red card holders.

In terms of objective 2: conceptual training was organized in five places in Okhaldhunga and three places in Lalitpur. 160 participants in Okhaldhunga and 85 participants in Lalitpur took part in the training

 

In terms of objective 3: poverty to prosperity exercises are conducted with 175 families in Okhaldhunga and 84 families in Lalitpur with 259 in total.  Those families requested investment for the following activities.

22 families in Okhaldhunga and 9 families in Lalitpur were supported with an investment of Rs. 1,156,000.00 for chicken raising, pig farming, kitchen gardening, buffalo raising and shop keeping.

 

Regarding objective 4: The revolving fund for the poverty to prosperity is created by WATCH. It was expected that the present project will also contribute it. Amount already invested from the project may come back to the fund. If that happens it will add to the fund.

Regarding objective 5: the project has conducted 12 ecosystem management plans in Okhaldhunga. It was planning to conduct such plans in Lalitpur in three areas but because of lockdown it could not be done. It was also not possible to support some actions from the plans because of pandemic.

Regarding objective 6: Lesson learning workshop and dissemination have to be done at the end of the project. As the project is not finished, they will be conducted at the end of the project.

Need for Change:

From the third week of March 2020 the lockdown because of the corona pandemic was imposed in Nepal. WATCH’s field staff tried to conduct some activities during that time but it was dangerous and people were not cooperating so all the field activities were stopped. However, all the staff were provided with full salary of May, half salary of April, and afterwards whenever works are done salaries were paid.

As lockdown is continuing and local government agencies are also not allowing outsiders to visit the area, it became impossible to complete remaining activities which were mainly development related activities. For this reason, it became necessary to make changes in the project. While discussing with women’s groups and local government representatives they requested to distribute relief materials. After discussion with WATCH Board and management as well as staff, a new project is developed to provide reliefs to needy earthquake affected families from the project area.

New Project

300 needy earthquake affected families will be selected in consultation with women’s groups and local government. The focus will be 3.4.5 and 6 wards of the Molung Rural Municipality and 7 and 8 wards of the Godavari Municipality of Lalitpur. Municipalities had once distributed relief materials and planning to distribute second time also. For this reason they have prepared a list including the list of most poor or needy families. WATCH staff will receive them and get information from women’s groups or their leaders and match with those who are already selected by the project before. Based on these activities 200 families from the Molung and 100 families from the Godavari will be selected. Rs. 5000 each will be distributed as relief to be used by the families. Each family will receive two medical masks and three bars of soap. Another Rs. 5000 worth of materials like one month old chickens with needed medicines and some feeds, or goats, or fruit saplings and associated materials for income generation will also be provided.

Budgetary Provisions:

Until July 15th 2020. Rs. 3,648,149.62 is spent from the project. In terms of income Rs. 3,537,327.48 (50%) in the first installment and Rs. 3,308,678.46 (40%) in the second installment is received. The third installment of Euro 5176 will be made available in the final installment. The buying rate of Euro is Rs. 138.20 (according to Nepal Rastra Bank 9/7/2020 rate) Because of fluctuation in the bank rate exchange rate is expected to be 136.00 or so. By deducting Euro 50 for bank transfer fee , WATCH expects to receive 5126 which translates as Rs. 697,136. Thus the total income will be Nepali Rs. 7,543,141.94. By deducting the amount spent until July 15th the available budget to be spent is 3,894,992.32