Practical Action Blogs

    Rebuilding dreams, rebuilding hopes – a melancholic reflection

    Almost 200 kilometres west from Kathmandu lies a small village called Rainas in Lamjung district. It is one of the villages which was hard hit by the 2015 earthquake. 83 year old Sape Damai lives with his 86 year old blind wife, Dalli Damai in a small temporary shelter in Rainas-8, Lamjung. They have been through thick and thin and are still going strong. All of their seven kids died during birth. “We were cursed, none of our kids survived,” […]

    June 25th, 2019

    DAIRY – Empowering women

    Few months back, I was visiting one of the project sites where we are supporting smallholder dairy farmers, particularly in better production techniques, access to improved breeds, improved extension services, and inclusive value chain development. During the trip I came across many smallholder dairy farmers – each one of them had a story to tell. One of them was Mina Bohora (39) from Madhyabindu Municipality – 4 of Chitwan District in Province 3. Mina, Treasurer of Panch Pandav Sahakari – […]

    June 12th, 2019

    Climate Crisis. The New Reality.

    Beating drought with ingenuity, Turkana. Climate change is leading to increasingly frequent and more severe hazards and disasters. It’s something that is effecting us all but varies in severity. A recent article from the Guardian reported that Fairbourne in north Wales will become the first community in the UK to be decommissioned as a result of climate change. Whereas in Mozambique, Malawi and India, 3 cyclones of different scales have left millions homeless. From these different disasters caused by climate […]

    June 10th, 2019

    The challenge of scaling-up energy access in least developed countries

    As shown in the latest UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) tracking report published last week, we are making some progress towards the goal of universal energy access by 2030. The number of people without access to electricity is now down to 840 million (compared to 1.2 billion in 2010). However, progress has been patchy, with sub-Saharan Africa mostly left behind. Furthermore, there are still around 3 billion people without access to clean cooking. Unless progress speeds up, we are […]

    May 31st, 2019

    Practical Action for the New Planetary Reality

    “We never used to have mosquitoes here in the winter. Now we have them all year round,” said Purnima Chaudhary, the co-ordinator of a flood resilience group we helped form in the Bardiya region of Nepal. Year-round mosquitoes for Purnima is undoubtedly an inconvenience, but it’s also tangible evidence of a changing climate. As is the very existence of the flood resilience group. Two recent reports demonstrate just how much trouble we’re in. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and […]

    May 30th, 2019

    Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019: It’s Time for Action

    One Vision Creating Countless Hope. Entrepreneur Lily Akhter. From a destitute victim of river erosion to a successful entrepreneur, it’s not been an easy path for Lily Akhter (58). After losing everything from river deterioration in 2003, Lily and her husband with their 6 children started their new life in Baitul Aman slum, Faridpur municipality. Her husband’s earnings were not sufficient enough to feed 8 people a day which persuaded her to earn for her family. Lily got the idea […]

    May 29th, 2019

    Pumpkin Commerce for Fighting Poverty and Hunger

    Uttam Kumar Saha is a Strategic Lead of Urban and Energy for Practical Action in Bangladesh. I went to the northern Char areas in Rangpur last week along with the Agriculture team to facilitate the field visit with the Secretary, Ministry of Commerce. Char is the transitional, infertile sandy land, which generally goes under water for six months of the year and is always considered as one of the biggest poverty prone hot spot in Bangladesh. What I saw, heard […]

    May 29th, 2019

    Learning from failure: the untold story

    Absorbing failure and learning from it is not always easy. Building on failure is even more challenging and requires great strength of character. This Practical Action story has remained untold for a decade because looking at failure positively is not something we typically do. I’m taking this opportunity of sharing our faecal sludge management (FSM) journey – a story of how failure made us rethink a problem and develop a more ingenious solution that put addressing people’s fears and concerns at […]

    May 21st, 2019

    Global Platform for Risk Reduction 2019

    The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) takes place every two years. The platform is the foremost gathering for experts to explore how to reduce disaster risk and build the resilience of communities and nations. The platform is convened by the UNDRR, the United Nations office for DRR, and this year is hosted by the government of Switzerland. More than 4,000 participants and delegates from over 180 countries are registered to attend. This is a rich and diverse group of actors that […]

    Bridging the sustainable energy gap for smallholders in West Africa

    In West Africa, demand for food and processed food is increasing mainly due to demographic pressure  while smallholder farmers and processors face difficulties to respond to this demand. Producing and processing more could be facilitated thanks to sustainable and affordable energy. However, access to energy is still limited in West Africa, in particular in rural areas, where 9 out of 15 countries have rural electrification rates below 19% and policies for energy access are focused on the satisfaction of the household […]

    May 8th, 2019