Flood victims get back to normalcy, thanks to the livelihood recovery support

Anita Thapa Magar at her grocery shop at Madi municipality-9 Pyauli of Chitwan

Chitwan, 12 December 2018: The flood of August, 2017 (Nepal Flood) wreaked havoc in 20 districts in Tarai region and affected 15 district in Hilly region. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the flooding in 20 districts of Tarai belt damaged more than 80% of its agricultural land, inundated approximately 35,000 houses and affected 11.5 million people. Likewise, 79,812 houses were completely damaged and 144,444 were partially damaged by the flood, landslides, and inundation.

The flood didn’t just have an immediate and a long-term negative impact on the environment, the lives and livelihood of the people were also affected. More than 69,000 livestock including goats, buffaloes, chicken and pigs were killed in the floods.

Anita Thapa Magar, 40, resident of Madi Municipality-9, Pyauli of Chitwan district is one of the badly affected people by the flood. Pyauli is one of the worst-hit settlements in the district. Anita with the support of her husband Rudra Bahadur Thapa ran a grocery store and took care of the family. Her store was completely damaged by the flood which left the family of five without any source of income.

As a part of Flood Recovery Project, Samari Utthan Sewa (SUS), an implementing partner of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Nepal and Felm Nepal, provided her with NRs 15,000 as livelihood recovery support. With this support, she procured necessary materials to operate her business (grocery shop). The project facilitated her to develop business plan and provided market linkage skill training. Additionally, she received psycho-social protection support and capacity building on emergency preparedness. Her children also received uniform and stationery for school.

Magar’s regular customers are the people from Pyauli and Kushumkhola of Madi. Her shop is situated right in front of her house. Her husband helps her to bring materials from the market. She said, “I had the same business earlier but it was destroyed in the flood. I am very grateful to have received the recovery support to restore my grocery shop. I would like to thank LWF, SUS and Felm Nepal for giving me and my family a chance to revive from our loss”

Magar currently earns more than NRs 17,000 a month on average whereas, previously she earned NRs 9,500 per month. She added, “This income has not only addressed the issue of food insufficiency but is also being utilized for household expense. I have been able to provide proper care to my children particularly investing on their education and health. I have also been saving money which I believe will be of great help in the future.”

Magar further shared that she plans to continue her business and establish linkage with micro-finance institutions for the expansion of her grocery store.

The flood badly affected 44 Households in the settlement. Houses were destroyed and farm land turned into sediment. Majority of the affected people are Dalits and ethnic minorities. The floods damaged critical lifeline facilities, standing crops and swept away food stocks, livestock, poultry and other household belongings. It also impacted the communities’ livelihoods and weakened food security and nutrition. Considering the impact, LWF, SUS and Felm Nepal implemented Flood Recovery Project targeting the 44 HHs providing support for sustainable livelihood, education, emergency preparedness and psycho-social protection.

Bimala Gayak, Executive Director of SUS, said, “We implemented a recovery project in the aftermath of the devastating flood. As a result of our intervention, the attendance of children in school has increased. The affected families now have a proper source of income and have been able to come out of distress. I believe, our work compliments the sustainable development.”

Dr Prabin Manandhar, Country Director, LWF Nepal said, “Gender equality is a core priority of LWF. We are committed to support for the empowerment of rural women and girls. Our program provide humanitarian assistance, and linking relief to long-tern development for their recover and building back better their livelihoods.”

Text by: Kritagya Regmi and Navaraj Acharya (Samari Utthan Sewa)

Photo by: Navaraj Acharya, Team Leader- Chitwan Side, (SUS)