Nepal

UNDP super serious on resilient community infrastructures

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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its strong aftershocks heavily destroyed Nuwakot in April 2015. As a part of early recovery efforts, UNDP has launched its Community Infrastructure and Livelihood Recovery Programme (LRP) to assist the earthquake affected communities recover from the worst disaster Nepalese have faced in the most recent history.

UNDP Deputy Country Director Ms. Sophie Kemkhadze expressed a deep concern and commitment of the UNDP to lift up the lives of the earthquake victims during her recent visit to observe the LRP activities in Nuwakot. She stated that the earthquake has changed the priorities of UNDP for Nepal.

"The importance of community infrastructures for livelihoods, especially in a country which is so much rural and dependent on agriculture is high and has multiplying benefits for the communities," she emphasized and added, "UNDP is super serious that community structures are resilient to disasters and communities take ownership over maintenance for their sustainability."

Nuwakot Chief District Officer Mr. Umesh Kumar Dhakal said the earthquake has pushed life out of gear for millions of Nepalese and requested UNDP to go beyond 6 VDCs in Nuwakot with the reconstruction drive.

Local Development Officer Mr. Narayan Prasad Risal recalled UNDP's assistance to the Nepal Government in advancing the bottom-up planning approach and viewed that similar success is expected from UN's largest development agency in the reconstruction drive. "This prehab building, where we are having a meeting, is an evidence how much people benefit from infrastructure work," he remarked.

UNDP's Assistant Country Director Heema Khadka said the reconstruction of community infrastructures are closely linked to people's livelihood recovery initiatives.

"The reconstruction of at least 25 productive community infrastructures and livelihood intervention in Nuwakot will assist the recovery of estimated 4,000 households in the district," said Niranjan Tamrakar, Team Leader of LRP. UNDP is partnering with RUDEC Nepal to implement its LRP programme in the district.

The local beneficiaries shared about the positive impact of the UNDP activities in the post-quake scenario in their villages to help them regenerate the income after the huge loss of lives and property.

UNDP is assisting the early recovery of earthquake affected communities in Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Kavre, Nuwakot and Rasuwa with assistance from the Republic of Mauritius.

LRP

"Every kilo of vegetables we produce and sell in the market is an investment to buy stones and bricks to erect our fallen houses. The earthquake has made us poorer but we are determined to work collectively and build our assets through our Bitalav Devi Multi-purpose Cooperative activities," said Indira Pathak in Thansing VDC in Nuwakot in a brief interaction with UNDP Deputy Country Director Kemkhadze while she was in Thansing to take stock of the recovery initiatives being implemented by UNDP.

Reconstruction of a vegetable collection centre in Thansing is expected to benefit 300 earthquake-affected households store agricultural produces and fetch a good price for their goods.

The locals are actively contributing the labor with a belief that their voluntary effort in a combination to UNDP's assistance to build an agriculture collection centre in the village, would benefit them the most.

“The centre once effective, will help us get a fair price for our produces,” said Dhana Maya Shrestha, 76, who now lives in a cow-shed after her home collapsed in the earthquakes. This would also get them rid of the middle-men who decide the price for their goods, hopes Dhana Maya.

UNDP is assisting the early recovery of earthquake affected communities in Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Kavre, Nuwakot and Rasuwa with assistance from the Republic of Mauritius.

RELRP impact in community

"Life has changed for the good after I received a two-day training from Rapid Enterprise and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP) to produce mushrooms and sell in the market," says Balaram BK, 24, of Khanigaon Village in Nuwakot.

RELRP has been assisting individual entrepreneurs build back their entrepreneurial vocation after the earthquake.

Balaram received the entrepreneurial skills from Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) three years ago and tried his luck with poultry. In a fruitful season, he says he earned as much as NRs 90,000. But the earthquake damaged much of the infrastructure and added to his vulnerability.

"The mushroom farming has ignited hopes for me. And family is always around to help me. Moreover, I need not worry about the market as the demand for mushroom is high," he told Sophie Kemkhadze, UNDP Nepal's Deputy Country Director who took stock of the recovery interventions under UNDP in Nuwakot.