Earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 was one of the largest disaster ever experienced by people of Nepal in recent history with massive impact on their lives and livelihoods. In response to the devastating impacts of 2015 earthquakes, Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) mobilized more than 8,000 volunteers and staff who delivered first aid and distributed relief items immediately after the earthquake. The support of international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners enabled the NRCS to reach more than 3.5 million people with emergency relief and humanitarian assistance. Following the relief phase, the NRCS responded to the winter needs of the earthquake affected people by providing cash grant of NPR. 10,000/- to 49,996 families to protect them from cold weather.
Subsequently, the NRCS implemented an integrated recovery programme across 14 worst affected districts through Six Ones model which comprises of one set of principles, one plan, one team, one programme, one tracking system and one reporting mechanism. The whole integrated recovery programme focused on FOUR plus ONE components, they are; shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH), health and livelihood plus institutional capacity building (ICB) of NRCS. Additionally, gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), community engagement and accountability (CEA), planning, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and information management (PMER-IM) were major cross-cutting issues embraced in all components. Besides, sectoral inventions were carried out in aditional three districts; they are Udayapur, Tanahun and Lamjung.
As of the reporting date, the NRCS has delivered substantial recovery assistance in-line with overall recovery strategy of the Government of Nepal (GoN) and its commitments to National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). Yet, witnessed many bottlenecks in different forms at various levels that affected programme implementation to some extent. However, the challenges were tackled in close coordination and series of discussions with the Movement partners, GoN National Reconstruction Authority and other concerned authorities at different levels. Community participation and involvement of local authorities have been affirmed together with the programme implementation, which facilitated to deal with challenges and come up with practical solutions to deliver significant achievements in this reporting time. Consequently, the integrated approach of recovery programme has contributed to build earthquake resilient communities across 14 most affected districts through different interventions. Some key achievements of the NRCS during the reporting period are highlighted below:
Shelter programme under integrated recovery programme of the NRCS aimed to support affected families with cash grants, awareness on build back safer, as well as with necessary socio-technical assistance. A total of 7,260 households have received first tranche of shelter cash grant, out of which 90% of households have already shifted newly constructed earthquake resistant house as per government guidelines. More than 5,600 skilled/semi-skilled masons and carpenters trained by NRCS have been supporting the construction of owner driven houses and engaged in various reconstruction works. Likewise, more than 82,000 people oriented on build back better techniques have contributed to enhance socio-technical aspect of building earthquake resistant houses. In addition, NRCS supported construction of eight schools in Dhading and three in Udayapur district, while one school is under construction in Sindhupalchowk district.
The NRCS adopted a participatory approach to deliver its recovery under WASH commitments. A total of 318 Drinking Water Supply Schemes (DWSS) including 36 rain water harvesting schemes have been reconstructed/rehabilitated and established with community participation benefiting more than 90,000 people of targeted districts. As part of its contribution to the national open defecation free (ODF) campaign, NRCS supported in construction of 9,652 household toilets and 91 school toilets. All the constructed school toilets have ensured child, gender and disable (CGD) friendly structure.
Under recovery programme, the NRCS implemented health interventions as per its recovery commitments to the government and supplemented overall recovery strategy of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). As of the reporting date, 1 district hospital and 27 pre-fabricated temporary health posts with staff quarters have been reconstructed. Similarly, rehabilitation of 12 health posts have been completed in different programme districts. Furthermore, as part of building capacity of staff, volunteers and community members, more than 9,500 volunteers, staff and community members have received trainings on community based health (CBH), first aid, epidemic control for volunteers (ECV) and psychosocial support (PSS). As a result, nearly one lakh people have been reached with community-based health and first aid service. Similarly, the NRCS has supported on declaration of 34 villages and municipalities as complete immunization zone through conduction of coordination meetings and door-to-door visits with immunization messages.
Livelihood intervention played an important role in terms of restoring income, food security of affected communities and strengthened local economy. Under livelihood component, more than 33,000 families have received cash grants support with technical training for livelihood options and approximately 26,000 animals have been insured with support of the NRCS. Similarly, more than 43 foot trails, 4,461 animal improved sheds, and 85 irrigation canals have been constructed under livelihoods intervention.
Construction for 6 district chapter buildings, 26 sub-chapter buildings and 12 community buildings along with support of development of long-term plan for the district chapters and relevant trainings to the NRCS staff and volunteers have helped to strengthen institutional capacity of the NRCS and deliver sustainable programme and quality services. Besides, with support of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), NRCS distributed 21,254 improved cooking stove and 140,147 solar home system in 14 programme districts.
Cross cutting issues
GESI, CEA and PMER-IM remained on the top priorities for NRCS. As part of recovery intervention, NRCS has supported construction of one hostel for visually impaired school children and distributed 308 assistive devices to the people with different forms of disabilities. Likewise, 14 child friendly spaces were established in 12 health posts in Kavrepalanchowk, NRCS district chapter and national headquarter premises. More than 3,400 volunteers were trained on GESI and disability inclusion and 3,300 staff and volunteers took an oath on Child Protection and Anti-Harassment Code of Conduct. During the programme implementation, the NRCS ensured a two-way communication mechanism with the target beneficiaries through kiosks, suggestion box, information board and hotline services. Furthermore, web-based management information system (MIS) has been put in place and implemented across the programme districts for managing programme data for overall integrated recovery programme.