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Facilitating community linkages to government resources in Nepal

Figure 1: Cutting of agriculture land, bank of the Chameliya River. All photos: Mercy Corps

Approximately 21 ropani (just over one hectare) of land was swept away by heavy rainfall on the night of August 16thin the Bagadi community, with the river coming close to homes. Although people and goods were moved to safe places, the land cutting increased day by day. Excavation work for a hydroelectricity project across the Chameliya River was diverting the river course, causing land cutting in the community. The community members demanded river training work to reduce the impact of the new project on their lands.

Figure 2: Landslide affecting Bangabar Community

The hydroelectricity project gave the community assurances that this would be addressed, but after six months nothing had been done. M-RED brought key government stakeholders to the area during the sub-sector selection process and a new atmosphere was created in the village. DMC members and villagers were able to put their problems directly in front of government officials and, as a result, the District Development Committee conducted a survey for 500 meters of river training work to counteract the cutting. The villagers are now considering a request to the hydroelectricity project for another 500 meters of work. They plan to request grass and other plants from the Forest, Soil Conservation and Livestock Service Office for sustainable control of the river. Following the stakeholders visit to M-RED communities, the District Disaster Response Committee has decided to prioritize these communities for assistance.

We never thought about initiating river control. Now we know we can get support from various organizations.”
—ShobhanBihara of Bagadi community

Similarly, the Bangabagar landslide has been affecting the Gokuleshwor community for six years and the number of displaced households is increasing every year. Despite small investments from the District Soil Conservation Office (DSCO) and District Water Induced Disaster Project (DWIDP) for river and landslide control, the community was not seeing an improvement. After an M-RED-coordinated stakeholder visit, the DSCO decided to provide a 100-meter gabion wall. Likewise, it prompted the District Disaster Response Committee to request and receive Rs. 350,000 (3,500 USD) from the DWIDP for landslide control improvements.

The community DMC is now going to integrate all of the funds received from different organizations for landslide control. According to Amar Nath, secretary of Bangabagar DMC, "During previous years, we had small budgets for our work. But this visit from government officials has brought in much more. Now we will invest the integrated budget in the most-affected areas." District Administration, Forest, Agriculture and Livestock service office has also committed their support for the disaster risk reduction and economic development program in this community.

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