Disaster risk reduction and climate change
Programme highlights 2007-8
During the reporting period, Practical Action has completed construction and demonstration of emergency evacuation boats and life saving equipment handling training to members of Project Implementation Committee (PIC) and volunteers from seven communities in Chitwan and Nawalparasi. DDC representatives attended the "Livelihood centered approach to disaster risk reduction" training in Chitwan. The training has helped inspire VDC/municipality to draft a disaster management plan for 29 VDCs and one municipality in Chitwan. Additionally, 124 participants benefited from the three-day social mobilisation, group management and saving credit training. These beneficiaries are now capable of managing saving and credit schemes on their own.
Awareness campaign has been conducted for six months at a school in Kabilash VDC, Chitwan amongst 2,800 students and and their teachers. The main objective of the awareness programme was to educate the children and teachers on the negative impacts of climate change and its associated issues faced by Nepali farmers. Similarly, Practical Action participated in meetings/workshops locally and internationally to share climate change project's outputs and approaches.
Disaster Management Plans
Practical Action supported Chitwan DDC to review the Disaster Management Plan formerly developed by UNDP. This process resulted in the production of a revised plan, produced in Nepali for the first time. This District Plan incorporats 'a model' plans for three VDCs supported directly by the DIPECHO funded project. The incorporation of model plans has prompted the DDC to initiate development of similar plans for 28 more VDCs which are most at risk from natural disasters. The DDC intends to institutionalise and incorporate these plans within their upcoming annual plan. In Nawalparasi, six similar VDC plans have been developed. The district authorities are now interested in working with Practical Acton to increase coverage of VDCs. Based on its simplicity and clarity, the District Plan format developed by Practical Action is now being adopted by a number of other agencies. Practical Action, through its partner RKJS, is working on a similar plan with the Bardia district authorities.
Awareness on EWS
During the reporting period, five communities have established EWS in their localities- two in Chitwan (Meghauli and Jagatpur) and three in Nawalparasi (Pithauli, Parsauni and Kolhuwa). Since then, awareness of these systems and their success has been wide-spread. The use of EWS in reducing vulnerability of flood affected communities is being discussed increasingly at the national level. Currently, Practical Action is working with flood affected communities of selected VDCs of Banke and Bardia district to build their capacity on EWS through its local partners RKJS and CSDR.
Appropriate life saving support
During 2007 Practical Action with financial assistance from DIPECHO provided boats, lifejackets and other life saving equipment to vulnerable communities in flood prone parts of Chitwan and Nawalparasi. Similar activities have also taken place in Bardia and Banke in 2008. The equipments provided has been integral to the development of VDC plans by helping reduce the community's vulnerability during the times of flood. In all locations, pre-monsoon mock drills were carried out to test the systems, equipment and training under 'real life' situation.
With financial assistance from DIPECHO the project has built school buildings, bridges, culverts and roadways to supplement the evacuation and safe intra-community movement during floods. Furthermore, to protect against river bank erosion, the project has supplied spurs and dykes securing 100 hectares of farmable land shared among 200 families. Based on the needs of the local communities of Patihani and Meghauli, the project has installed small but prominent irrigation facilities. The construction of these infrastructure supports has reduced irrigation cost by 95 per cent and the farmers expect 20-30 per cent increase in crop production.
Practical Action has also supported construction of water reservoir and installation of irrigation pipes for Chepang community in Beldanda village to enhance the coping capacity of the beneficiaries against the negative effects of climate change. Check dams have been constructed in the micro catchments of five rivulets to promote winter crops, institutionalise community forest user groups and increase vegetable farming. The construction of check dams have minimised soil erosion and debris flow benefiting farmers by increasing their livelihood.
Read more about Practical Action Nepal's Disaster risk reduction and climate change programme