Thursday, April 13, 2017

Nepal: Earthquake Emergency Appeal (MDRNP008) Operation update n° 13

This operations update provides a brief overview of services and support provided to earthquake affected people through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Appeal, as articulated in its emergency plan of action (EPoA) and in line with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement Recovery Plan ‘One Plan’. The Movement partners adopted 4+1 integrated recovery programme model under the leadership of the Earthquake Response Operation (ERO) unit led by the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in 14 worst affected districts. Within the 14 districts, Movement partners identified 11 in which they are supporting through bilateral projects and the IFRC, upon request of the NRCS, is supporting integrated projects in the other 3 districts namely Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap and Sindhuli. Along with technical support of the IFRC, NRCS has been implementing shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH), health, livelihood and institutional capacity building of the National Society components.
There have been numerable unforeseen delays, of which the latest being the need for the Government of Nepal’s final policy, procedure and guidelines on continuing the grant for owner driven shelter which only was solved in January 2017. Almost, two years since the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, NRCS member, staff and volunteers, both at national headquarters’ (HQ) and at district chapters, were able to implement the recovery programme only in June 2016, after signing the agreement with the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). Under such circumstances, the overall implementation rate during the reporting period looks promising and activities are moving forward.
Shelter has been identified as a top priority by the government under recovery programme and a focus in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement integrated approach. The recovery strategy for shelter is based on the national recovery package of the Government of Nepal (GoN), which is central to the development of the Movement partners’ supported project plans. Central to this approach is, houses to be reconstructed using earthquake resistant building techniques, and materials through an owner driven approach. The reconstruction of owner driven houses has been progressing well after the approval of revised guideline by NRA, on 18 January 2017.The pace of progress is at different stage between the three target districts with some making substantial gains in capacity and action, however overall progress due to the continued unforeseen stoppages has meant we remain behind planned schedule but if there are no further delays we assess that the progress will come back in line with the plan in the coming months. As of February 2017, 2,334 families have signed agreement with the Village Development Committees (VDC), of which 2,303 families have already received the first tranche of cash grant.
The main reasons for other households not collecting cash grant are due to lack of documents and house owner being out of country or not completed agreement with VDC. These figures are expected to slowly increase up to 100 per cent in coming months. While writing this report, 295 families have completed their construction.
Improving health and well-being of affected people through recovery interventions focused on rehabilitation of the damaged health infrastructures, promotion of community-based disease prevention awareness and building capacity of staff and volunteers through various trainings and community-based activities such as immunization and celebration of health days and events. As of February 2017, an estimated 13,040 people were reached through various health activities. The Red Cross volunteers also reached 6,976 people within the community through mass awareness activities such as street dramas and messages through the radio.
WASH activities are ongoing and form a significant part of the integrated community needs approach. The implementation of the WASH activities was carried out in line with the WASH inventories that was developed in August 2016. The focus was to fulfil needs in terms of rehabilitating the community water supply system, construction of household and school toilets and kick start hygiene promotion activities in Sindhuli, Ramechhap and Okhaladunga. With the completion of hiring of most of the district ERO staff in September 2016, the activity of toilet construction for the ultra-poor gained momentum. This has been coordinated closely with families who are receiving shelter cash grants from the Red Cross. As of February 2017, 180 toilets are constructed, 220 are in different stages of completion and 3 water supply schemes already constructed and 5 are ongoing. Through WASH interventions, 7,251 people have been reached so far and this number will go up with the completion of all under construction toilets, water supply schemes and hygiene promotion activities. The ongoing support to household and school toilet construction and hygiene promotion activities are in line with the GoN’s national strategy and the Open Defecation Free (ODF).
The priority for livelihood intervention was to restore livelihoods of affected people and ensure longer-term income opportunities, taking into consideration local needs and market. In target VDCs, livelihood activities were continued as an integrated approach instead of implementing this as standalone component. For example, using cash for work (CFW) to construct foot trails, rehabilitation and maintenance of irrigation canals, financial support for animal sheds, trainings and start-up support to promote seasonal agriculture, training to local masons on build back safer technique have been creating livelihood opportunities at the community level. These livelihood activities also paved the way for the implementation of shelter and WASH activities in these areas through providing water for construction as well as wellbeing and through better access to remote villages. The affected families also have been support to rebuild better animal shelters which was a finding from a GoN assessment after the earthquake as a priority need to ensure further livestock were not lost to disease and exposure to weather. Some 3,860 people were benefited through different livelihood interventions carried out.
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