Rapid response to the severely flood-affected farming communities for the enhancement of food security status and the restoration of the production capacity in Rautahat and Sarlahi, Nepal" (CERF)
In August 2017, out of 77 districts, 35 districts were affected by the flood, and almost 80 percent of the land in the Terai region was inundated (PFRNA, 2017). The excess amount of rain impacted negatively, taking the lives of 134 people, damaging 190,000 houses fully or partially and affecting approximately 1.7 million people (ibid). Among 18 severely affected districts, the highest number of death causality (18) was in Rautahat district. The flood swept away the food and grain reserved crops, irrigation motor pumps, agriculture tools, livestock, household items, small business, and the shops. In case of failure to support the flood-affected population, there was a high risk for the country in increasing disparity and worsening living of the large chunk of people living below the poverty line as it was highlighted by PFRNA (2017) report.
Rautahat and Sarlahi were among the worst-hit Terai districts, accounting for above 40% (equivalent to USS 23 million) of total loss occurred in the agriculture sector of the central region. The total affected cropped area in these two districts was 26,786 ha, of which 7,053 ha was completely damaged to a total of US$ 1.23 million losses in the agriculture sector. Therefore, agriculture relief support was crucial to address the food and needs of the flood-affected farmers. To address the immediate livelihood need and to recover damaged crops, Rural Development Centre Nepal, Rautahat with funding support from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) implemented Rapid response to the severely flood-affected farming communities for the enhancement of food security status and the restoration of the production capacity in Rautahat and Sarlahi, Nepal (CERF) Program in close consultation with District Agriculture Office, District Disaster Relief Committee and other concerned stakeholders in the district from November 2017 to March 2018.
Purpose of project
The primary purpose of the project was to assist the most vulnerable flood-affected farming communities addressing a particular need of women farmers, through the rehabilitation of agriculture, irrigation canals, reclaiming the land in the riverbank damaged by flood, restoring fish farming and providing nutritional support to indigenous communities.
Objective of the project
The main objective of the project was to provide immediate and time-critical assistance to the most vulnerable 6,000 households in the worst flood-hit Rautahat and Sarlahi districts for the enhancement of nutrient-rich food and the restoration of the production capacity of targeted households.
Gujara and Brindaban Municipality of Rautahat district & Kaudena and Basabariya Rural-municipality of Sarlahi district.
Supported by: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- 157 Flood Response and Recovery Groups were formed in Rautahat and Sarlahi Districts, out of which 90 were in Rautahat and 67 in Sarlahi involving 2445 members (male: 493 & female: 1952).
- 6,000 composite packets of vegetable seeds followed by 320 water cans, 1,969 kg of plastic sheets, 19360 kg of vermin compost and 140 kg of plastic ropes were distributed in two districts.
- A total of 400 metal bins were distributed in five communities (kaudena-80, Manpur-80, Simra Bhawanipur-80, Shakuawa Dhamarura-106, and Ramauli Bairiya-54) in Sarlahi and Rautahat Districts, of which 160 were in Sarlahi and 240 were in Rautahat.
- Due to metal bins, community members were able to store their food grain and seed in safe utensils.
- A total of 157 shallow tube-wells were installed in five flood-affected communities-Kaudena-36, Manpur-31 of Sarlahi and Simra Bhawanipur-43, Shakuawa Dhamarura-36 and Ramauli Bairiya-11 of Rautahat Districts, of which 67 were in Sarlahi and 90 were in Rautahat.
- One fish pond was repaired and maintained at Gajura Municipality benefitting 54 farmers from 2 farmer’s groups, namely Ganga and Jamuna women’s farmers’ group, which was leased by the community members of Jogauliya tole in Gujara Municipality for 7 years from local landlord in condition to share 50% of the total fish income to the landlord.
- This project conducted 3 days of intensive training to the key technicians and leading farmers for the safe operation and maintenance of shallow tube-well.
- 7410-meter irrigation channels, which was sufficient to irrigate 200 hectares of land this year benefitting thousands of farmers in the community was repaired.
- 191 meters flood-damaged road between Kaudena and Skraul in Darlahi was repaired.
- Riverbank of Kaudena River was filled with sand damaging about 5 hectares of cropland and this sand was removed and made 4 hectares’ cropland cultivable benefitting 1200 HHs.
- In coordination with District Agriculture Development Office in Rautahat and Sarlahi and FAO District Team, RDC organized a 3-days intensive training on horticulture crops & vegetables – improved nursery techniques & crops management systems.
- Need assessment before making a proposal would be a great help to develop a realistic plan.
- Working on disaster preparedness is much cheaper than to invest in response and recovery.
- Engagement of community and government officials gave a life to the project.
- In comparison to the size and scale of damage caused by flood, response, and recovery program far smaller to reach out to the needy people
- Installation of a shallow tube well in short time was a big challenge due to the fact that community participation, availability of construction materials and the plumber were difficult.
Every stakeholder and community members appreciated the efforts made by FAO and RDC Nepal to provide early recovery support which helped the communities to get recovery from the immediate impact of the flood. However, members realized that the need for medium and long-term recovery project was the serious need