Reaching down scaling up: Strengthening community resilience to disasters

AWO International with its humanitarian assistance to the neediest has been working for the last years in Nepal. Working through its local partner organisation AWO International has supported the people of two wards in Nuwakot district, one among the fourteen most affected districts by the 2015 earthquak. The project is complimenting to the initiatives of Nepal government in the sector of post-earthquake recovery and rehabilitation. The project focuses on Linking Relief and Rehabilitation with Development. Its primary focus is on Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihood promotion for the neediest.

Focusing on disaster risk management, the project has piloted in establishing bio engineering structures in response to landslide and rivulet mitigation. This approach has been ground-breaking in the zone. In alignment with SENDAI framework and Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction, initiatives and interventions have demonstrated in building community resilience to disasters. Activities like awareness raising; establishing and strengthening community level institutions; light first aid and search rescue trainings, and equipping them with essential tools and materials have a significant contribution in building capacity of locals in a wider aspect. The formulation of Local Disaster and Climate Resilience Plans, conducted in an participatory approach, has helped locals to understand the underlying risks, existing capacities, and vulnerabilities both at household and community level, further providing assistance for better preparedness and to respond effectively.

Owing to the facts of livelihood losses due to disasters which is a contributing factor for dragging people back to poverty as their livelihood is adversely affected. Livelihood input support, focusing on strengthening and diversifying livelihood options of locals has been another prime focus of the project. Farmers groups have been formed, further trained and supported by various needed essential materials. Newly formed and old farmer groups have been registered with the District Agricultural Support and at a second stage with the Rural Municipality to ensure that they have access to the services provided by agricultural service providers at rural municipality level.

In range with other initiatives, vocational training to locals has helped to diversify their livelihood option; training to masons has escalated reconstruction; establishment of drinking water schemes and user groups; support to local blacksmiths; revolving funds to farmers and committees and various awareness raising activities in schools and other locals is offering a great contribution in building resilience.

At the same time close coordination at district level and with the rural municipality has established a good coordination with stakeholders and ensured access to services in the near future. Moving ahead with digital world, techno friendly innovation such  as creating a portal of rural municipality has also been another breakthrough, reflecting evacuation routes and other details in the digital map.

Likewise, sensitization and capacity building of newly elected bodies at rural municipality level will help the representatives understand the disaster risk reduction with broader aspect. This further will help and support rural municipality and formed committees in taking joint efforts for initiatives for disaster risk reduction and effective response.



Duration: 18 months

Region: Bungtang and Kimtang ward of Myagang municipality-Nuwakot district, mid-western Nepal.

Beneficiaries: 1571 families - 8640 inhabitants.

Sector: Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihood.

Partner: Sarbodaya Nepal and CARDSN