A unique place
With eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains and located mostly in the Himalayas, much of Nepal is high inaccessible. The mountainous terrain makes farming difficult and access to markets for trade very limiting.
Our Nepal HQ is located in Kathmandu and we work in all seven provinces.
Our work includes significant efforts in agriculture, energy access, climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness. As many communities have needs in some or all of these areas, our projects are often combinations of approaches.
Work in Nepal is carried both as regular Practical Action projects and also through contracts awarded to Practical Action Consulting.
Nepal’s vulnerability to climate change is classified as high, while its readiness to cope is low. A dangerous combination.
Farming that works
Practical Action’s focus is on proving and promoting farming that works in tune with nature, helping farmers adapt to the new climate reality and improving their resilience to climate hazards, such as floods, droughts and landslides. Read more…
There are two significantly different approaches to farming in Nepal – both of which come with problems. Intensive commercial farming in areas close to the cities is the most dominant and the use of chemical fertilisers and unsustainable farming practices are degrading soil at a rapid rate. Diesel fuelled machinery for irrigation and processing is equally damaging to the environment
In more remote rural areas, more traditional subsistence farming in the difficult terrain is backbreaking and seldom profitable. This has led to an exodus of male farmers to cities and nearby countries in search of work. Indeed, 30% of Nepal’s GDP comes in the form of money sent home by workers living abroad. This puts added strain on the lives of women who are left to work the land alone.
In the coming years, our work will aim to improve the livelihoods of 400,000 smallholder farmers, 60% of them being women. This will be achieved through a combination of environmentally sustainable farming approaches, better access to renewable energy for agricultural use, climate information services and better business linkages.
Through our broader influencing and advisory work, we aim to help even more people change their world. This will include advising government bodies on making agriculture policies and assistance more sustainable and demonstrating to private sector business that agro-ecological farming approaches can be profitable as well as planet-friendly.
Resilience that protects
There are around 3 million people in Nepal who are highly vulnerable to climate related or natural hazards, including floods, droughts and landslides. Additionally, people in Nepal are vulnerable to geological hazards, such as earthquakes. We aim to build resilience into the lives and livelihoods of 300,000 people in the coming years, as well as contributing to the development of local and national government policies on reducing risks and climate adaptation. Read more…
Crucial elements in building resilience are education, information and contingency planning. Practical Action will work with communities to discuss their exposure to risk and how this could be mitigated. Helping them to create plans to minimise loss and damage due to disasters will also be addressed. Equally important is the presence of good early warning systems, monitor river water levels and weather to give good advanced warning, usually delivered by text messages through mobile phone service providers.
New government policies are being developed, presenting us with opportunities to make our learnings part of national and local frameworks and accepted best practice in community development work. This will significantly improve upon previous policy approaches that focused on post-disaster recovery.
Energy that transforms
In Nepal over a quarter of the population, do not have access to electricity and three quarters do not have safe, clean cooking fuels and stoves. We aim to improve access to these life-changing essentials that will enable people to transform many aspects of their lives. Read more…
The proportion of people in remote areas without access to electricity is even higher, as it is often impractical to connect people to the national power grid. Off-grid generation, mostly by private companies, has been limited due to a lack of government subsidies or incentives – and where it has been attempted, it has often failed due to unworkable business models.
Through our work in the coming years, an additional 375,000 people will gain access to electricity from renewable sources. Our influence, advisory and consulting efforts will have a much greater indirect impact. We will advise and inform regional and national energy planning decision makers and work with private companies to help them build sustainable business models for energy generation and distribution. And we will work with communities to help them maximise the income benefits of energy access through skills training and business planning.
The quality of our post-earthquake reconstruction work in Nepal, involving the use of innovative technologies and the strengthening of the supply chain of construction materials, was given an A+ grade by the UK Government’s Department for International Development.
Funding partners for our work in Nepal include:
- Jersey Overseas Aid
- Z-Zurich Foundation
- United Nations Development Programme
- UNCDF UK Dept. for International Development
- European Union
- US Agency for International Development
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Asian Development Bank
- World Bank
- Nordic Development Fund
Practical Action, Indira House, House No.1114, Panipokhari Hill, Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: +00 977 1 4423 639
+00 977 1 4423 640
Fax: +00 977 1 442 3632