With local partners, OXFAM-Nepal is working to help earthquake victims revive their livelihood

Feb. 4, 2017, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.10, No 12, February 3,2017, (Magh 21,2073)

For almost two years after the 2015 earthquakes, Kanchi Tamang, 80, a resident of Masine, Ward No. 4 of Chandragiri Municipality, has been living in a temporary shelter with her three sons, their wives and grand children. She does not know when she will be able move to a new house.

Situated at 6,000m above the sea level, Thulo Masine, two kilometers west of Badbhanjyang, Thankot, an entry point to Kathmandu Valley, is home to 200 families living in such temporary shelters. As the government is yet to provide adequate support to these people, they are not sure about their permanent shelter.

“I received a total of Rs. 25,000.00 (US$ 240) from the government in the last two years. I don’t know whether I will ever see my new house,” says Tamang, with tears in her eyes.

In the freezing cold of Thulo Masine, a village facing Ganesh Himal range to the north, these are frustrated with the lackluster performance of the National Reconstruction Authority.

They are receiving some help from two NGOs, Lumanti and DEPROSC. With support from OXFAM-Nepal, the NGOs have launched various livelihood related programs for the earthquake victims.

Lumanti is helping them build latrines, drinking water taps and sewerage systems and DEPROSC is providing livelihood support with chicken and vegetables seeds.

With limited resources, NGOs support in a small way but their impacts on livelihood have been significant, such as in Maine Village, formerly a Ward No. 2 of Badbhanjyang village and now Ward No. 4 of Chandragiri Municipality.

“We are grateful to organizations like OXFAM, Lumanti and DEPROSC and other small NGOs, which supported us to make our life possible," said Subhas Tamang, a member of Citizen Ward Forum of Ward No. 4, Chandragiri Municipality. “When earthquakes had destroyed all our houses and we were living under the open sky, OXFAM, Lumanti and DEPROSC reached us with food, tents, toilets and drinking water. A visiting team from Switzerland provided money to purchase zinc roof to cover our temporary houses,” said Tamang. “Given the current state of slow reconstruction, I can say NGOs and INGOs could have done much better than the government. Had they been given the responsibility, we would have had our new homes now,” said Tamang, who is also a member of Nepali Congress Ward Committee.

Along with building the toilets and providing other necessary things, Lumanti and DEPROSC also supported the rehabilitation of roads and drinking water. They also supported the construction of cattle shed and provided money to raise chicken. Along with providing cash support under cash for work in rehabilitation of roads and drinking water, local community people were also trained to grow vegetable and raise chicken.

Just five months away from the monsoon season, only 100 people have signed the contract agreement for first installment of Rs, 50,000.00 (US$450). It seems unlikely for them to rebuild the houses in the coming year as well.

“If the money is not distributed within two months, it is impossible to reconstruct the houses in the coming season as well,” said Surendra Tamang, member of Community Users Group.

Along with shelter, livelihood and road in Masine, Oxfam-Nepal, with the local partners LUMANTI and DEPROSC, has supported Water Supply Scheme in Chandragiri Municipality Ward No. 4 of Nagdhunga.

With the disappearance of water sources following the earthquake, there was water scarcity in Nagdhunga The people had to walk up to three hours to fetch drinking water.

As ninety percent of the people have lost their shelter, the disappearing water sources created havoc in the villages. As the rural communities were in desperate need of drinking water, OXFAM-Nepal came there with the necessary support.

“We have lost not only our homes but also our water sources. This added more burden to us,” said Madhukar Basnyat, chairman of Naghdhunga CWSS Users committee. "Thanks to the support of local NGOs, Lumanti and DEPROSC, with District Drinking Water and Sanitation Division, we completed a drinking water project to lift the water Sisne Khola to Devisthan of Koiralathok. The water collected at Sisne Khola will be lifted to the villages and distributed to over 300 households,” said Basnyat.

Started in June 2016, the construction work on the collection tank of 100,000 liters at Sisne Khola and distribution of pipes have been completed. The water will be uplifted through the pump to distribute to the households.

“This is a victory for us all. Although we are yet to receive the money to reconstruct the houses, we will have drinking water now in our temporary shelters,” said Ambika Bhurtel. “We have suffered a lot for the last two years following the disappearance of water sources. Now I don’t need to send my son and daughter to collect water from faraway places. As water is available, we can grow vegetables from waste water,” said Bhurtel.

With the involvement of the community, the work was completed before the schedule. “We have been working for almost two years. The construction of the project was possible because of active participation of the local community. DEPROSC is happy to be a part of the project,” said Niranjan Rijal of DEPROSC-Nepal.

Work in Earthquake affected Region

“OXFAM Nepal has been working in these areas with DEPROSC and Lumanti as local partners to provide support to earthquake victims to carry out different works,” said Bimal Khatiwada, District Program Support Coordinator, Oxfam Nepal, Earthquake Response. “Nagdhunga Water Supply Scheme is one of them.”

Oxfam has been working in WASH-DRR, Shelter, Gender and Protection through its partner LUMANTI and Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihood (EFSVL) through DEPROSC at Chandragiri Municipality.

Nagdhunga Water Supply Scheme (Chandragiri-4, Badbhanjyang) is the project supported in coordination with Regional Monitoring and Supervision Office (RMSO), Kathmandu (in line with the list of damaged water supply schemes provided by RMSO). The total contribution of Oxfam for the project is NPR. 14, 00,000/- and the total beneficiaries of the scheme is 350 HH. 

The support of Oxfam included 65mm diameter GI pipe (600m), cash for work (pipeline laying of 600m pipe), gabion wall preparation at the reservoir tank. In addition to this, formation/reformation of WUC, regular coordination meetings, technical backstopping during construction has been in process.

Similarly, OXFAM Nepal also supported Masine Water Supply Scheme. According to OXFAM Nepal, altogether 159 households of Chandragiri Municipality Ward No. 3 and 4, Badbhanjyang (Thulo Masine, Sano Masine and Gairi Gau) were completely damaged by earthquake; leaving marginalized habitants deprived of WASH facility. 

“Oxfam in partnership of LUMANTI supported community with hygiene kits (152 sets), emergency latrine, water supply scheme and capacity building training. Oxfam-LUMANTI constructed a RCC tank of 12,000 liters and supported with 300 m (2" HDP pipe). Furthermore, 113 latrines were supported, FCHV training, Cash for work, 28 cattle sheds, stockpile of LSAR item, VCA prepared have been completed,” said Khatiwada.

Similarly, OXFAM Nepal also supported Thankot Mattikhel Water Supply Scheme. Situated in Chandragiri-5, Thankot Mattikhel Water Supply Scheme is being supported in collaboration with Regional Monitoring and Supervision Office (RMSO), Kathmandu. The total budget support from Oxfam (through its partner LUMANTI) is 621,997 (transmission pipe 1004m of NPR. 258500/- and ferro-cement tank of 20m3 NPR. 363497/-) for the scheme which will benefit 1344 HHs. The WUC is being backstopped regularly for the technical inputs.

In this scheme, Oxfam’s EFSVL partner DEPROSC-Nepal supported the vulnerable earthquake affected community (60 HHs) by involving on Cash for Work activity for 15 days, provided District Technical Office’s norms for the Unskilled labor wage Rs. 575.00 per day and after completion of the scheme (after 15 days) they would get Rs 8625.00.

Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihood Implemented activities during the Earthquake Response Project in Chandragiri Municipality, the OXFAM Nepal supported emergency response, 184 people were benefited from Cash for Work. Similarly, 116 received fresh food voucher support, 40 kitchen garden support, 275 agriculture input support and vegetable farming under emergency response and transitional recovery. Twenty families received vegetable farming refresher training and 42 business support, SGC and SMME.

They also organized animal health camp and community level awareness on legal rights of women and protection. One hundred households received poultry support, 58 refresher poultry support, 20 post harvest handling. Similarly, 37 households were benefited from land right profiling training and 37 beneficiaries benefited from animal husbandry and shed improvement trainings. Similarly, 36 households benefited from the refresher animal husbandry and shed improvement work. In total, 850 households were benefited under emergency response, transitional recovery, recovery April-September and recovery October-December 2016.

As the government agencies are yet to reach large numbers of earthquake victims, INGOs like OXFAM-Nepal have been working to bring the change in the life of earthquake victims, winning their hearts and minds at times when they were desperate for support. As the National Reconstruction Authority has a new leadership, it can use the local reach of NGOs and INGOs for the greater benefit of the victims.

Field reporting from Nagdhunga and Masine of Chandragiri Municipality.

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