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UK public urged to help farmers reverse the effects of climate change and coronavirus

By Practical Action On 09.12.2020 Climate changeCoronavirusFarmingPress release

An opportunity to help people in Nepal take back control of their lives and adapt to their new climate reality has been launched.

Development organisation Practical Action is asking people to support its work, enabling farmers in the Himalayas to become more resilient to extreme weather patterns and coronavirus through a combination of ingenious ideas.

The appeal, in which all donations will be matched by the UK government until 9th March 2021, will help fund a new project using proven approaches from two previous successful campaigns to turn the tables on climate change in Zimbabwe and Sudan.

In the Rukum, Rolpa and Dang districts of western Nepal, climate change means farmers face extreme and unpredictable weather, new diseases and pests. Two-thirds are women; many widowed as a result of recent conflict or alone because their men have headed to towns and cities in search of work. Most have two jobs – farming the land, and caring for children and elderly relatives.

Torrential seasonal rain causes floods that destroy crops and landslides on the rugged, steep terrain. In the dry season, water for drinking and irrigating crops runs short. Failed crops mean farmers are forced to sell land and tools to buy food.

Worse still, since Coronavirus hit the country, supply chains of seeds have become unreliable and demand for produce has plummeted.

But through bold collaboration between Practical Action and local Nepali communities, together they can turn the tables on climate change. Practical Action will work with farmers to help them access the tools, training and technology they need to be able to grow a successful harvest, store water, irrigate crops, access finance and get their produce to market.

Not only will this enable families to secure their income, it will also help reduce the impact of climate change through sustainable farming practices, which reduces the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and reintroduce traditional seed varieties.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said: “The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the world, and communities like those in rural Nepal are especially vulnerable. The global pandemic has demonstrated the need to build resilience to future shocks, including extreme weather and climate change.

“That’s why we will double public donations to Practical Action’s new appeal, together we can unlock the skills, knowledge and innovation needed to help thousands of farmers build back better and take control of their future.”

Practical Action CEO Paul Smith-Lomas said: “Every day my colleagues around the world tell me stories of how, for many of the people they work with, climate change is already happening.

“The simple truth is that people in the poorest places suffer most and their reality is that they now have to deal with it. Practical Action is on the front line, working with some of the world’s most vulnerable people to help them adapt and take back control of their lives.

“You can help empower communities to turn the tables on climate change. Donate before 9th March 2021 and your gift will be doubled by the UK government, so your gift will go twice as far.”

For more information or to make a donation, please visit




The project in numbers:

  • Household income for these 6,000 families will increase dramatically, doubling from around £350/year to around £700/year.
  • Discrimination based on gender or ethnicity will be challenged and fresh opportunities to earn a better living will be available.
  • Daily life for women farmers will be transformed. Gone will be the endless unproductive hours spent collecting water – time they can now use to earn money or spend with their families.
  • The threat of the coronavirus impact pushing people further into poverty will be negated.
  • Improve income from agriculture for 35,000 people and double the annual household income of 6,000 of the poorest households in three rural districts of Nepal – Rukum, Rolpa and Dang.
  • Of the 6,000 households whose income will be doubled, 5,500 are farmers (80% women) who will transform farming into a business. 500 people (80% women) will find new employment. 20% of other people set to benefit will be men from other marginalised groups such as the Dalits, Janajatis and people living with disability.
  • The increased income will also help to bring additional co-benefits for 30,000 people (through average households of 5) to improve other basic needs such as housing, healthcare, education and improved nutrition.

About Practical Action

Practical Action is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage.

Improving harvests through planet-friendly farming innovations. Transforming lives through affordable, renewable energy. Reducing vulnerability created by climate change or disaster. Demonstrating sustainable ways to improve clean water access and sanitation. Unlocking economic opportunities that allow whole communities to thrive.

Just a few of the ways we help people unleash their potential and protect our world for future generations. Join us.

About UK Aid Match

UK Aid Match brings charities, British people and the UK government together to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

For every £1 given by the public to a UK Aid Match charity appeal, the government adds £1 from the UK’s international development budget.

UK Aid Match gives everyone in the UK a say in how the UK’s aid money is spent. It boosts the impact of high quality projects that improve the lives of the poorest people in developing countries.

For more information, please visit