This fortnight, as Nepal commemorates the first anniversary ofa devastating earthquake, those 1028 households of Muchchokvillage of Gorkha district will have a reason to rejoice. Lying close to Barpak, the epicenter of the earthquake, Muchchokvillage saw everything being razed to the ground last year but, soon after the disaster, it started on the path to recovery thanks to IM Swedish Development Partner, a Swedish INGO.
Much of Muchchokis still under the rubble,comprising broken doors and window frames, stacked over large stones. With the launching of various livelihood resumption, educational, irrigation and drinking water recoveryprograms by IM’s local partner MADE Nepal, people began to pin hopes in the possibility of rebuildingin Muchchok.
MADE Nepal has already startedhome gardening, irrigation and drinking water schemes maintenance andtraining for villagers to rear goats, among other activities, which brought aboutexpectations to havedrastic changes in the life of the people who had lost everything, including the basis of their livelihood, to the disaster.Besides, quality education support to all 8 schools having 1343 students benefitted of the VDC was another significant effort that the project has been doing so far.
Possibly this becomes the first mid-term recovery project to be mentioned here that has been undertaking its recovery work in Gorkha even from the worst political consequences of 2015 onward.
“As the work of IM Swedish Development Partner focuses globally on the people´s rightsto dignified livelihood, rights education, rights to health and ability to sustain a life in dignity, all its projects are implemented in close collaboration and partnership with local partner organizations. Under the Muchchok Recovery Project, IM Nepal is trying its best to support, aware and empower all earthquake affected people of Muchchok with special focus to women, girls, boys and marginalized communities for their early recovery in economic and social aspects within short period of time,” said GovindaNeupane, country director IM Swedish Development Partner
In view of the fact that farming was the main source of income for villagers, IM and MADE Nepalare helping villagers to strengthen their sources of livelihood. The farmers have already built tunnel nurseries for vegetable cultivation which villagers didn’t resort to in large scale prior to the earthquake. Along with this technology, IM’s partner NGO, MADE Nepal, also helped to repair water canals, and drinking water systems which were damaged by the earthquake.
Initially frustrated and desperate,the poor villagers gradually turned optimistic becausetheir agriculture production would pick up pace due to the scheme.
One of the important parts of IM and MADE Nepal is that they are reaching out to villagers in as many ways as they can. Their programs range from psychosocial counselingto survivors,the materials given to schools and the seed packets distributed for households to start their own kitchen garden.
With no alternative employment opportunity available in the village, the push for organic off-season vegetable cultivation, vocational and technical skills development and seed money support for self-employment opportunities and better goat rearing practices by IM and MADE Nepal is likely to help the people sustain themselves all year round and helpimprove the food and income security situation as well.
First Anniversary of Earthquake
Along with carrying out the livelihood and other programs in earthquake destroyed areas, IM also supported Humanitarian Accountability Monitoring Initiative (HAMI) campaign organized by national comprehensive network/campaign of civil societies working in humanitarian, human rights and development sector to conduct a fact finding field visits and studiesand lobbying and advocacy on effectiveness of use of resources and activities directed to earthquake affected people as part of IM and local CSOs effort to raise issue of aid effectiveness in Nepal.
Released in February, the report, Nepal Earthquake 2015: Building Resilience, Rebuilding Lives, Finding from Grounds, came out with various suggestions and recommendations based on its ground study in six earthquake affected districts.
Although the country willremember the year since the April 25, 2015 earthquake with fanfare, a large number of earthquake affected peopleare yet to rebuild their shelters.
“The government completely failed to fulfill its obligationsto respect and protect the basic human rights of the affected families. A firm and assertive plan didn’t come from the state’s side for relocation of displaced, compelling the victims to spend each day in despair,” revealed the report.
Released by Sushil Gyawali, Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority, the report disclosed escalated malpractices due to the vacuum in local governance. The report also suggested the need to ensure coordination mechanisms work at the districts level and at the level of various stakeholders.
Nepal Reconstruction Authority is established with the sole objective of helping earthquake victims with rehabilitation opportunities, develop resilienceand shelter.The authority has started work but it is too slow and too late. Since only two months remain away from the annual season of rains, it is likely that a large number of victims may have to face hardship again.
"We believe in equal values and rights of all individuals. Everyone shall be treated equally, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disability. For us, compassion means reacting to injustice. This is a commitment in both words and deeds," the promoters of the idea.
Effective development cooperation requires good knowledge of the local context. Through interaction, we gain respect for one another, understand one another and learn to do the right thing. IM strives for a sustainable development, socially, financially and environmentally, and our aim is to create independence for both individuals and partner organizations.
The goal is for the people living in poverty and exclusion throughout the world to have improved abilities to claim their economic, social and cultural rights and thereby enhance their ability to sustain a life in dignity.
Different civil society organizations, development partners and government agencies are working in the rehabilitation and rebuilding processes, but IM Nepal is quietly working in the field of humanitarian accountability as well