Disaster Risk Management
The Jumla and Mugu Districts, in the north-west of Nepal, were ranked by the UN among the country's 23 most vulnerable districts. Their hilly location puts them at great risk from landslides, earthquakes and flash floods. Yet few Jumla and Mugu households know how to prepare for and respond to a natural disaster, and most are heavily dependent on imported food, and grow only a small variety of foods locally. This situation is a disaster waiting to happen.
Caritas has been working with communities in Jumla and Mugu since 2012, and in 2016 started a new project to help prepare local people against future natural disasters.
We're working with 1290 households in the districts to improve their resilience and food and livelihood security. Activities so far have included:
- Supporting families to start their own vegetable gardens
- Working with women's groups to improve food storage practices
- Training local farmers in new sustainable farming techniques and providing them with a greater variety of seeds
- Working at household and community level to draw up earthquake preparedness plans
Training local people in anti-earthquake construction techniques and building "demo" quake-proof houses
The work of Caritas Nepal can be a matter of life and death for the communities we work with, especially in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. That's why we consider it critical for our staff to be as prepared and well-trained as possible, so that they can act fast and effectively to help vulnerable communities at all stages of the Disaster Management Cycle.
So securing funding in 2016 from the EU's PEACH initiative, the European-Asian Partnership for Building Capacities in Humanitarian Action, was an important moment for Caritas.
Thanks to the EU's support, we'll be able this year to afford extra training for Caritas staff on managing volunteers, humanitarian principles and the all-important Caritas Internationalis Emergency Toolkit.
And with better-trained staff, we can provide better services to communities in need – our ultimate goal.