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 www.practicalaction.org/turn-the-tables.