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Ganga’s story: Overcoming the challenges of climate change

By Practical Action On 25.01.2021 Climate changeCoronavirusEnvironmentBlog

We’ve met some amazing people as part of our Turning the Tables on Climate Change campaign – an opportunity for you to help farmers like Ganga adapt to the new climate reality and thrive despite the effects of climate change. Here’s Ganga’s story…

Ganga is a farmer and volunteer with her local government, living and working in the Shantinagar Municipality in Nepal, where climate change is evident in flooding, landsides and adverse weather. The difficulties from Covid-19 have made things even harder for Ganga and her family – but there is hope that things can change for the better. Ganga spoke to us about the challenges she’s currently facing and her dreams for the future. 

Ganga pictured in the Shantinagar Municipality

The challenges of climate change

“Sometimes it rains like crazy, whereas, sometimes it doesn’t rain at all. During such times, the crops are wasted and all our effort is in vain.”

“I planted chillies here twice but they just didn’t grow, they died. I have no idea why the chillies didn’t grow, might be due to lack of fertilisers or pesticides, I just couldn’t figure out. I had to bear the loss.”

“All we have is sharecropping [leasing land from the land owner, and sharing the profit with them], which is also hardly enough to feed ourselves. If we had some savings, then maybe we could live off of the interest but for us we don’t have anything. It’s really difficult.” 

Climate change makes it hard to predict which crops will grow and which crops will fail

The ongoing struggle with water collection

“There’s always a problem with water. The main water source is a little far away from here, so we have to connect water pipes to make a way for water to reach our fields.

When there is flood or landslide, the water pipes get swept away. It takes a while to fix all the pipes. The distance to the main water source is almost four hours by walk.” 

The walk to collect water can take up to four hours

The impact of Covid-19 on Ganga’s family

“My husband lost his job due to Coronavirus. The place where he worked had to shut down. Now, we don’t have any source of income. We didn’t have any savings because the money my husband used to earn was just enough to send the kids to school and feed ourselves. Now, we don’t have anything. Life is really difficult at the moment.” 

Gang with her family – “Life is really difficult at the moment.”

Dreams for the future 

“I really like farming. I wish to do vegetable farming and sell it in the market but for that I don’t have enough land. I wish to do chicken farming but again I don’t have enough money for that.  

I also I wish I could have a nice house, so that I could give my kids a better place to stay. For now, these are just my dreams.” 

Even in the face of climate change, you can help farmers like Ganga thrive and realise their dreams

Through an ingenious combination of small solutionsGanga can tackle the challenges of climate change, support her family and get closer to achieving her dreams.

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