Today, through a bridge and road inauguration ceremony in Haripur VDC, Sunsari district, the U.S. Ambassador Scott H. DeLisi, representatives of USAID, local government, and media celebrated the accomplishments of USAID’s Flood Recovery Program. The program helped more than 800,000 people in eight flood-affected districts of the Terai. Designed to meet the long-term needs of the most flood-affected areas, this three-year program rehabilitated and developed small-scale infrastructure, increased farmer productivity and income, expanded the participation of youth and vulnerable populations in the development process of their communities, and improved awareness of sanitation, nutrition, and gender and protection issues.
The $6.5 million program, funded by USAID and implemented by Fintrac Inc., was initially designed to respond to the 2007 floods in Kailali, Bardiya, Banke, Parsa, Rautahat, and Bara. It was subsequently expanded to Sunsari and Kanchanpur following the Koshi river floods in 2008. Some of the key, tangible impacts of the program include: 119 infrastructure projects completed, including 53 bridges, 11 roads, and 14 schools; and a 300% increase in the annual incomes of almost 4,500 households through improved irrigation systems such as shallow tube wells (a total of 686 installed), increased market access, and more productive farming practices, such as improved varieties of seeds and high-value crops.
At the closing ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Scott H. DeLisi remarked, “You can clearly see the results of this program. I’ve visited a number of its program sites across the country, and here you can see that farmers have adopted new tools that will continue to increase their incomes and food security, youth are much more engaged in the development process of their communities, and entire communities have better access to markets with rehabilitated roads and bridges. In Sunsari and Kanchanpur especially, an area completely devastated by the 2008 Koshi flooding, it is heartening to see this program – one of the very few focused on the long-term needs of the flood victims – achieve such remarkable results in only one and half years.”