Terraced cultivation counteracts the lacking irrigation opportunities. Photo: humedica
Livestock distributed to needy families
One more step towards the return to a self-determined life: seed, water filters and cattle are both nutritional basis and earning opportunity in the rural areas of Nepal.
In April 2015 the people in Nepal experienced a tremendous destruction by an earthquake measuring 7,9 on the Richter scale. The rural areas outside the Nepalese capital Kathmandu were particularly hard hit, here the quakes destroyed up to 90 per cent of all buildings and took away all livelihood. Their basis of existence is to be restored by targeted measures.
Since June 2015 humedica is on site and assists families in the heavily affected region Sindhupalchowk 70 km east of the capital. This territory is one of the least developed areas in Nepal. The survival of its inhabitants depends completely on agriculture. There humedica supports 183 families, which lost everything due to the heavy earthquake in April last year and are not able to find their way back to their old life on their own.
The families are supported by the humedica sponsorship programme, which is scheduled to cover three years. Since the start many important measures such as the distribution of hygiene care parcels have been implemented in order to allow for a way back to normality.
A special challenge in this mountainous area remains the lacking access to sufficient food. It is very tedious to grow aliments here and the earthquake has ruined all the seeds. Even so there are enough rain and also wells to render the soil productive, neither a functioning irrigation system nor pipes for clean drinking water exist to exploit the rainy seasons efficiently.
Baseline surveys and observations show that the best way to improve the health and economic circumstances in this area is the advancement of agriculture and cattle breeding. A big part of the population has pursued these professions already before the earthquake, which proved handy and promising.
Also for this reason humedica has distributed seed and cattle in June and July this year. Beforehand people were trained in general agriculture and field cultivation as well as in the farming, use and breeding of cattle.
The families were allowed to choose the animals most suited for them in order to achieve both a stronger bonding to the cattle and to optimise the operation with regard to the availability of clean water and nutrition. To counteract the future lack of water humedica either provided water filter units with 21 l capacity to all 183 beneficiaries or repaired the existing ones. Trainings accompanied these activities to raise awareness for clean drinking water.
One father has told us that his daughter used to be not at all happy about the water they used, because it was contaminated by dust particles and often murky after rains. Obviously she had nagged for quite a long time already her parents about buying a filtering system, but the father did not have the money. He himself was used to drink the water available no matter where, but he was very pleased about this unexpected turn, because he knew that his daughter would be very happy. He therefore thanked us cordially: „Thank you so much for your continuing assistance.“
The families could choose between buffalos, cows, goats, pigs and chickens. 67 families settled for a buffalo, three of which already contribute to the family income by providing milk. Six other families opted for cows and can already milk half of them. In June 43 families obtained goats, six others each got four pigs, two male and two female piglets.
Thus the first steps have been made. More distributions are already planned. Unfortunately not all cattle could be distributed to their new owners at once due to heavy rainfalls impeding the allocation. Nevertheless all planned measures could be implemented till the end of July.
But further support is still crucial. The people affected by the earthquake will continue to depend for quite a long time on outside support till they will be again able to master their daily life on their own.
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