The devastating earthquake of 25 April 2015, and subsequent huge aftershocks, destroyed whole communities. Thousands died and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. Unfortunately, the government was ill prepared to deal with such a monumental disaster and the subsequent response was very slow. The government have now made it a mandatory requirement to form Local Disaster Management Committees in all VDCs. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) committees have now been formed in each ward as a first step to making a community more resilient. Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCA) using various participatory tools guages people’s exposure to and capacity to resist natural hazards. VCA enables local priorities to be identified and appropriate action taken to reduce the disaster risk.

The Nepal Trust has been at the forefront of developing this strategy in five areas of Sindhupalchowk involving communities, local authorities and humanitarian and development organisations. The tasks include the drawing up of a social map to identify the hazards and the vulnerability and capacity of the programme area. It also identifies risk reduction activities to prevent or lessen the effects of possible hazards, risks and vulnerabilities. All district stakeholders are made aware of the importance of disaster risk management and disaster drill exercises are organised to test the capacity of the community to respond to a disaster.

The Nepal Trust continues to work very closely with local farmers. In partnership with local cooperatives we are currently constructing two collection centres which will provide space for seed and dairy storage, an agro-vet hub and provide office space. The Centres will act as sales hubs for local farmers to provide access to a wider market. The project is being built with co-funding from the cooperatives and in partnership with other NGOs, the district Agriculture and Livestock offices, and the local municipalities.

Revolving funds have been provided to the local cooperatives that will be used to provide low interest loans to Dalit and marginalised farmers. In addition the cooperatives have been provided with land tillers, rice threshers and agricultural tools to form the basis of a business led model approach to agriculture. Profits earned will be used to develop and expand the cooperative business.

We continue to support communities with new improved irrigation schemes which will also provide drinking water. So far we have benefitted over 1500 people with this initiative.

I hope you will continue to support this project and help these people still struggling to get back to a normal life. Thank you for all the help you have given and please let your friends know about us. My personal trip to the earthquake area earlier this year brought it home the task that lies ahead. Many villages still lie as rubble and many thousands of villagers still live in tin shacks or tarpaulin tents. That can’t be right.

For more information please visit this link.