Food Security, Nutrition and Climate Change Adaptation
Food security and nutrition has been a priority working sector of DEPROSC-Nepal for more than two decades. It aims to ensure food security among rural poor and farmers, provide technical and other support to create job market in the sector, and provide commercial agriculture as sustainable livelihood option. Social mobilization, institutional development, technology transfer, capacity building, micro enterprise development and value chain are its approaches toward establishing food secure nation.
DEPROSC-Nepal is working towards use of technologies for transforming subsistence agriculture towards commercialization, inadequate infrastructures and easy access to market, which are some of the major challenges faced agriculture today. On the other hand, the environmental dynamics and climate change leading to constantly changing climatic pattern is threatening the major basis of livelihood of the country. Thus, it is predicted to affect food security and nutrition through a combination of reduced food production, higher food prices, and lower food utilization, which could negatively affect livelihoods and access to critical health and social facilities. It is therefore, DEPROSC-Nepal has revised its working areas and expanded it to climate change and its impact on food security and nutrition.
Livelihood and Migration
Labour migration has been taken as an effective strategy for livelihood adaptation in past few years by many youth in Nepal. Migration for livelihood is increasing in the middle hills, mid and far western development regions of Nepal. For the mountain poor’s, remittances are becoming the most direct, immediate, and significant contributor to their livelihood. In addition to international migration, significant migration occurs within country from upland to lowland and from rural to urban areas. However, it has diverse consequences for the people remaining behind, their livelihoods, and the way they manage their land. Land abandonment has mostly impacted the agriculture and cultivable lands in rural and upland areas, while increasing pressure in lowlands.
DEPROSC-Nepal has been working in the mid and far western regions districts for nearly two decades in livelihood, education, health, rural microfinance, and natural resource management. With the changing social contexts, it realizes that there is need to focus on migration trend and provide people with sustainable livelihood option within the nation. Therefore, DEPROSC-Nepal will be working in the sector with an effort on livelihood option to reduce increasing trend of migration.
DEPROSC-Nepal was one of the pioneers in micro finance industry in Nepal. We had also implemented direct lending to underprivileged families through their female members following grameen model, for which we obtained license from the Nepal Rastra Bank under the Financial Intermediary Act 1998 to work as financial intermediary. Today as per the policy instruction of the central bank, DEPROSC-Nepal has handed over its microfinance portfolio to two national level micro finance institutions (private sector) promoted by DEPROSC-Nepal and others, Deprosc Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha and NADEP Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha which are serving some 200,000 families now.
At present, the phased over savings and credit cooperatives have grown up and expanded their services to larger communities. Many of them are mobilizing wholesale credit from RSRF, RMDC and other institutions.
Microfinance Portfolio until end of 2072:
|Year||Branch Units/No.||Members||Internal Savings Rs (000)||Loan Disbursement Rs (000)||Loan Outstanding Rs (000)||Deprived Sector Loan Utilization Rs (000)||Operational Recovery %|
As an experienced institution in microfinance in Nepal, DEPROSC is still engaged in policy debate and networking among microfinance practitioners. On the other hand, it develops packages for capacity building of community groups and cooperatives. The role of savings and credit cooperatives so as to carter the financial need at the rural hills is vital and DEPROSC will continue to work to strengthen its capacities.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Assistance
Nepal is one of the hot-spot countries in the world with high risk for multi hazard and disaster as classified by the World Bank in 2015. The country is exposed to most disaster types including earthquakes, floods, landslides, droughts, storms, avalanches, hailstorms, fires, epidemics, and ecological hazards. Nepal suffers a tentative loss of 1000 people’s life every year due to natural hazards and direct loss of an average of nearly 1208 million Nepali rupees per year (MoHA, 2009).
As an important stream of civil society organization, DEPROSC-Nepal has been involved in humanitarian response in natural as well as human induced disasters. DEPROSC-Nepal served the conflict affected population during 2000s in the mid-west hills, which was considered most fertile soils for insurgency and contributed in restoring basic educational and health services. It served the Koshi flood victims in 2008-09, Jajarkot diarrhoea affected communities in 2009 and earthquake affected in 2015-17.
DEPROSC-Nepal is a strategic partner of UNDP and Oxfam since 2013 for Emergency Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood (EFSVL). It has been working closely with long term partners for emergency food security, World Food Programme. DEPROSC is a member of Disaster Preparedness Network (DPNet) Nepal and Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR).
Rural life is difficult in absence of basic community assets like drinking water schemes, irrigation facilities, suspension bridges, school buildings, health post buildings, community meeting meetings, green roads, mule trails etc. DEPROSC-Nepal adopted an integrated approach for development where rural community asset creation was an integral part. In most of our integrated programs, communities identified and prioritized their most urgent community assets to be constructed or rehabilitated. DEPROSC-Nepal tried to match program priority, budget and community aspirations.
With our facilitation, communities have constructed or rehabilitated 7989 community assets. It has greatly contributed to create a better environment in improving basic services like primary education, health services, drinking water facilities, sanitation coverage, access to market, additional production in farms. Detail of asset created or rehabilitated have been mentioned in the table below:
|Total Households covered||Total Population covered||Nos. of Irrigation Scheme||Ha Irrigated||Nos. DWS system||Nos. of Tap stand||Nos. Sub Health Post building||Nos. of School building||Nos. of Rural Road||Km Road||No of Bridge-Suspended||Nos. of Community Building||Nos. of Micro hydro||Others||Total Schemes|
DEPROSC-Nepal believes that, “Education is fundamental to Development, Growth and Poverty Reduction”. It is therefore DEPROSC-Nepal has emphasized teaching and learning approach in the areas of formal and non-formal education since its inception. The very first project implemented was literacy programs for a small group of women. With broader scope to enable beneficiaries beyond reading and writing, the organization focused on life skills and health education; financial literacy and saving and credit programs; disaster awareness, preparation and mitigation; early child development and advocacy on anti-trafficking and social issues etc. in later days.
From its early days to now, DEPROSC-Nepal has reached to 254,847 people with education and literacy programs which has empowered women, men and children in many ways. Similarly, it has contributed to strengthened facilities in schools, learning environment and capacity building of teachers to create child friendly teaching and learning environment.
Natural Resource Management
In the field of Natural Resource Management, DEPROSC-Nepal has been involved particularly in forest management since its inception period. The implemented programs were focused on mobilizing resources for economic benefits of local in different regions of Nepal through implementation of diverse interventions for promotion and development of community managed forestry program, optimum use of natural water for drinking and irrigation purposes and plantation of multi-purpose tree and shrub species on barren and steep hills. Similarly, it has been involved in piloting, promotion, domestication, cultivation and use of non-timber forest product (NTFP) or medicinal plants and herbs of high economic value.
DEPROSC-Nepal was a solely involved NGO which is financed by Embassy of Denmark for a period of 6 years to provide social mobilization support on the Leasehold Forestry and NTFP production. It carried out forest mapping, institutional mapping, lease land identification, group member’s identification, leasehold forestry group formation, obtaining community consensus, operational plan (OP) preparation, processing of OP, obtain approval of OP, and handing over of leasehold forest. It also implemented some quick returning income generating activities, capacity building and technology transfer training and support for institutional development of leasehold groups. Focused was on promotion of greenery in different ways.
About 5595 households were supported for cultivation and harvesting of NTFPs in Jumla, Humla, Bajhang, Bajura, Lamjung and Ramechhap. DEPROSC-Nepal handed over 7118 hectares of land to 5595 members/ households represented from 608 leasehold forestry user’s group (LFUGs). Further, DEPROSC-Nepal was also involved in conducting participatory action research in identification of strategic Non-Timber Forest Products.
Health and WASH
Basic health and sanitation condition in most of the rural and remote areas of Nepal were pitiful when DEPROSC-Nepal start its intervention. Those areas, in particular, remote villages of mid and far western regions’ districts were preserved by age-long ill-practices and superstition which placed women and children into more vulnerable condition with limited health facilities and sanitation practices.
DEPROSC-Nepal first intervened in the sector in 1998 with Community Health Initiative project in Dadeldhura. Since, then it has been working to reduce incidence of chronic diseases and mortality, especially among children less than 5 years; maternal health care and awareness; immunization; potable drinking water and sanitation behaviour. It is more focused in raising awareness on health and sanitation, promoting preventive measures and capacity building of local health offices.
Till date, it has reached to 33,411 HHs and benefited 225,617 people in the sector through construction of 410 drinking water schemes and 4,194 low cost latrines, and installation of 4,702 Improved Cooking Stoves.