Project title: Organizing Earthquake Affected Rural/Indigenous Women for Livelihood Support
Promoted and implemented by Women Acting Together for Change (WATCH – Nepal)
Financed by Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau (AIFO – Italy)
Monitored and supervised (Technical and Financial Monitoring) by AMICI TRUST (AIFO)- India
From Poverty to Prosperity
End of Project Report July 17, 2019 – December 31, 2020
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. This year corona pandemic is the biggest challenge. All these are destroying human and natural resources. The relief system used is making people dependent and beggars. It may be quite difficult to overcome this mentality and make people responsible to their own work, livelihood and safety.
About six 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 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 Harkapu, Prapcha and Shree Chaur villages of the MolungVillage Municipality of Okhaldhunga District.
AIFO, Italy accepted the concept proposal submitted by WATCH to implement the project in ward 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Molung Rural Municipality, Okhaldhunga. Later WATCH requested to extend the project in ward 7 and 8 of the Godavary Municipality, Lalitpur because WATCH was implementing similar project in both the areas. Both the areas were devastated by the earthquake 2015. WATCH has organized 33 women’s groups in the Molung and 26 women’s groups in Godavari. This project worked together with those women’s groups for development related activities and developing ecosystem management plans, and selects 250 families who are affected by the earthquake for the Poverty to Prosperity plans and support.
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 staffs were provided with full salary of May, half salary of April, and afterwards whenever works are done salaries were paid.
As lockdown was continuing and local government agencies were 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.
Why do we choose those beneficiaries:
Molung is one of the worst hit areas 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 populations are Brahmin Chhetris. The project worked 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 worked 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.
Target and Actual Progress of Poverty to Prosperity Initiative
The project wanted to reach 250 families for Poverty to Prosperity Exercises and develop plans with them. It reached to 259 families with 175 families in Molung, Okhaldhunga and 84 families in Godavari, Lalitpur. The project also planned to invest to 60 families but it could invest only to 32 families: 22 in Okhladhunga and 10 in Lalitpur. The corona pandemic did not allow WATCH to visit for support. So the project was reviewed and changed with supporting to 300 families (200 in Okhaldhunga and 100 in Lalitpur) with emergency financial support of Rs. 5000 each and Rs. 5000 for income generation from which mainly one month old 15 chicks each were distributed in both the places.
Sustaining of the Poverty to Prosperity:
WATCH has created a revolving fund of Rs. eight million to support poverty to prosperity exercises. WATCH is committed to support them and develop them as entrepreneurs by increasing the investment and help them contact with other available resources. WATCH is in contact with those 259 families. Most of their plans have to be improved and investment plans have to be developed. In Lalitpur already 21 families are selected for investment from the WATCH revolving fund.
Supervision and Monitoring:
All the staff has to fill up a daily reporting format and report to the Supervisor who is taking initiative to collect information. He is also providing necessary feedback on the staff’s activities. Both the places have been visited by the Project Director to see the field activities and provide support and feedback to the staff every month. Each staff will have to submit the monthly report by summarizing their daily activities. All the staff prepared quarterly and bi-monthly planning against which monitoring is done.
Voluntary Support of Executive Director and Deputy Director
The Executive Director is the person who initiated the process. He has been designing training, providing training to the staff and helping in monitoring and supervision. The Deputy Director: Manisha Chhetri also supported regularly by visiting filed, taking part in review/planning meetings and reporting. Dr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha volunteered for more 100 days and Manisha volunteered for 60 days or so.
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 were 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.
Expenses of the AIFO Project
Heading Budget Allocation Until July 15, 2021 July 16 to December 31, 2021 Total
1.Salary/Benefits 1,420,882.00 969,199.00 465,240.00 1,434,439
2.Capacity Building 373,235.00 298,235.00 44,460.00 342,695
3.Development Activities 5,012,518.08
4.Travel/Transport 489,924.54 294,924.54 186,868.39 481,792.93
5.Office Expenses 315,014.04 123,273.00 182,954.93 340,127.93
Total 7,611,573.66 3,648,149.62 3,871,092.32 7,519,241.94
The above Table shows that Until July 15, 2021, the total amount spent was Rs. 3,648,149.62 and from July 16 to December 31, 2021, Rs. 3,871,092.32 was spent. Thus all together Rs. 7,519,241.94. The amount expected from the AIFO including the last installment is Rs. 7,543,141.94. So there is about Rs. 10,000 deficit. As the exchange rate for Euro has increased so there is chance that the deficit is covered by surplus from the exchange rate