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Build Back Better for Earthquake-Affected Communities

Sustainable solutions for internally displaced people-alternative livelihoods, natural resource management and social capital

Photo of Shivani
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

This project will support vulnerable families displaced and disconnected with livelihoods by earthquake through three approaches: a) resilient livelihoods through income diversification b) resource efficient and environment friendly settlements, and c) collective action and social capital development. We will work together with communities, local partners and government to incorporate these approaches into ongoing integrated settlements construction in two existing working areas- Temba Thang in Sindhupalchowk and Kharanitaar in Nuwakot. Integrated settlement will bring vulnerable people living sparsely in geohazard areas in safe and compact settlements with access to basic amenities and infrastructures and the proposed approaches will reinforce sustainability through income generation, optimization of resources and social harmony.
Income diversification opportunities (organic farming, permaculture, market-based productions, eco-tourism, food transformation, business literacy) will increase the household income . The project will save planet through sustainable use of resources using reduce, reuse & recycle of water and waste, rainwater harvesting and use of solar energy. Given the context that the displaced family were living sparsely and bringing them into a compact settlement can arise conflict, skills in conflict mediation, disaster preparedness, and community building will be provided to curb the future conflict . The project will ensure that women and girls’ voice are heard and integrated in the planning and implementation phase. Further, integration of resource efficient technologies and practices will address the problem of unsustainable consumption of natural resources . Collective action, social cohesion and disaster preparedness will reduce community conflict, impact of disaster and will drive the community towards harmony.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are 750 people (384 male,366 female) from 124 families, who have been displaced and currently living in temporary shelters of Temba Thang and Kharanitaar . They will benefit through safe and ‘livable’ settlements, alternative livelihood options, better access to amenities- like drinking water, waste management, solar power, a greater sense of social network and bonding, conflict mediation skills, increased business literacy and business skills, community development and disaster preparedness.

To create social harmony between the new settlements and the surrounding communities living in the proximity, skills, and knowledge on conflict mediation, income generating skills, technology transfer and natural resource optimization will be provided to additional 800 people from surrounding communities. Women, girls, people with disabilities, senior citizens will be engaged in project planning , decision making and implementation.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The concept of integrated settlements is very new in Nepal and we not only introduce the concept but also integrate sustainability through our focus on the planet, the economy, and the society. Our idea will help the earthquake affected families build back better by supporting them in restoration and improvement of facilities, livelihoods and living conditions with reduced risks in future.

The similar initiatives from other organizations have focused on the physical construction of housing units only, whereas our uniqueness provides a holistic solution in integrated settlements collaborating with rural municipalities, district and central government, district partner and communities. We believe that our idea will be successful, as there is community ownership and government and relevant stakeholder’s engagement from the initial stage of the project design, thus there is a joint force to implement this comprehensive idea of sustainable communities.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Oxfam has been operating in Nepal since the 1980s and as per the legal mandate of Government of Nepal, it implements all projects by partnering with district registered local NGOs. Through this partnership modality, Oxfam currently implements programs in 18 districts in partnership with 46 districts based NGOs (https://nepal.oxfam.org).

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Nepal earthquake 2015 took lives of approximately 9000 people, injured 2200 and damaged over million houses posing the biggest challenge in safe rebuilding. A geo-hazard study,2017 has identified several risky areas, which has forced affected communities to leave their home and live in temporary settlements. In Nuwakot,which is the first Integrated settlement support, we received a very good response and support from the national government, local government and communities.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Sustainable Solutions for Earthquake-Affected Communities bridges Peace, Prosperity, and Planet. Peace has been impacted by the devastating earthquake in 2015 from which approximately 9000 people lost their lives, 22,000 were injured and more than half a million houses and building were damaged. Prosperity has been influenced by the loss of family members, houses, assets and livelihood. Likewise, the planet has been impacted by the earthquake, and depletion of natural resources, which displaced earthquake affected people and ruined their livelihood.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Oxfam will work with district-based NGOs viz. Janahit Gramin Sewa Samiti (http://janahit.org.np/) in Temba Thang Sindhupalchowk and Community and Rural Development Society Nepal in Kharanitar, Nuwakot. These partners based in the respective district will draw on their extensive knowledge of the local context and implement project activities by directly working with beneficiaries, local government and district stakeholders. Almost Heaven Permaculture Training and Development Centre is our partner who conducted research on building sustainable communities in the proposed sites and this organization could be the potential technical partner to provide guidelines on sustainable practices (http://permaculturenepal.com).

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The research carried out by Almost Heaven in 2017 showed,

Temba Thang: The most outstanding aspect of these villagers was their unity as a community, hard work and openness to learning. The abundance of natural resources,the beauty of the area and location inside Helambu are also definite strengths.

Kharanitar: Unity and hard work and the youth have good construction skills. A willingness to learn and an interest in the overall development of the village was found in the community.

Geographic Focus

Temba Thang, Sindhupalchowk district and Kharanitaar, Nuwakot district, Nepal.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project time period will be 24 months. We estimate a cost of USD 500,000 for the implementation.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Attachments (2)

User's Map.pdf

Contribution User Map

2 comments

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Comment
Photo of Aline SEJOURNE
Team

Hi Shivani,
Great idea! I think as you stated well, it is critical to have an integrated approach to make sure that the project is responding to the communities' needs, and they take ownership of it. Your idea is well designed.
Will the new settlements be created in the same communities, very close surroundings to the communities of origin of the displaced families, or else where? It would be great to hear more about it.
You also mentioned that you will provide income generating skills to the communities. Could you explain if it will also include the training and involvement of them in the construction activities? I think it would create a long-lasting impact of the Build Back Better, and enable the families and their homes to become more resilient to future disasters. I work with Build Change, who has been in Nepal since the earthquake, and we train and support homeowners and masons to rebuild their homes and schools (among other actions), and we believe and have witnessed that by training and supporting people in implementing good construction practices, it multiplies and contributes to the permanent change toward disaster-resilient construction practices. I would be happy to exchange more about our respective activities.
Again, congratulations on your idea! I really like the integrated approach combining many components.

Photo of Shivani
Team

Hi Aline,

Thank you for your interest on our idea.

Yes , the new settlements is already under construction and it is in close proximity of the origin of the displaced families. We have gone through rigorous community consultation and consensus building process during site selection and the communities are looking forward to move in safe and resilient integrated settlements. I work with Oxfam . Oxfam’s Earthquake Response's Shelter program to date has responded through gender sensitive community capacity building (establishment of information centers, long and short term mason trainings, technical assistance to communities, information dissemination on earthquake resilient building construction, and market recovery activities. Oxfam is promoting local materials for reconstruction and providing technical support and awareness on Build Back Better and has trained homeowners for producing Compressed Stabilized Earth Brick for the construction of settlements. Further each homeowner is also making in-kind contribution for house and community infrastructure construction. Yes I would love to know more about your work .

Thank you.