It is nearly 4 years since the devastating earthquake that killed so many people and destroyed the lives of many. Slowly life is getting back to some normality but there is still much to do. A recent report has been published that demonstrates where progress has been made but also emphasises where more work is required. The Inter Agency Common Feedback Project focuses on reconstruction, food security, livelihoods and protection. It is a community engagement project that consults with all demographic groups in the project area. Its key findings include:
House and building reconstruction has increased to 49% over the last twelve months but it also means that over 50% of people are still living in temporary accommodation. Although this is not now a Nepal Trust priority we did train a number of masons to help speed up the rebuilding process. Our main focus now is on infrastructure, farming and school development.
Clean and effective water supplies are still a priority for 36% of the population. The Trust has prioritised this issue in the 6 Rural Municipalities (RMs) it has chosen to work in and all have new water supply systems.
Lack of a suitable finance source is a major problem for many and 50% have to borrow money. Of these 65% are forced to borrow from informal sources charging high interest rates.
Only 12% feel fully recovered from the earthquake. The main constraints being a lack of suitable economic opportunities; not enough disaster resilient housing; insufficient current livelihood options; and debt problems.
Livelihood needs are recognised as: new skills, paid work, improved seeds, land to farm, cash support and water supplies. The Trust has been very active in some of these areas particularly farming and education.
86% of people feel things are starting to recover and the majority feel better able to cope with a future disaster through better and safer homes, forward planning and safe storage for food (grains).
Training opportunities are seen as limited and much in demand. The main training areas include masonry, new farming techniques, entrepreneurship, and carpentry. The Trust has noticed that where a farmer uses new improved methods and techniques neighbouring farmers will show interest and follow suite.
Elsewhere our work to replace/improve schools gathers momentum. Many schools not directly in the earthquake zone nevertheless suffered damage not immediately noticeable. It is now very apparent that many of these schools will require extensive repair or replacement. The replacement of Kalika school in Nawalparasi district continues (see last report). A new project to upgrade 5 schools in Makwanpur district has now started with toilet construction at 4 schools and the construction of 2 new classrooms.
We have just about reached the end of 2018 and heading for the festive season also the season of goodwill. Let us all remember the hardships others have to face through no fault of their own. Natural disasters can happen to us all. Many, many thanks for all your support and help to date. Your continued support would be great and gratefully accepted by those in most need. Please tell or remind your friends about us. There is still a great need and your help will be much appreciated.
Namaste and Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2019
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