“Before, most of time the land would remain unused as there was no irrigation, but now with this pond we can do something about it.”– Khina Biswokarma
After almost a month of shovelling and cementing, a 30 year-old farmer from the Kalikasthan village of Doti district in far-western Nepal wore a happy smile as she received rations of rice and lentils in exchange for her work on a community pond.
The project, funded by the European Union Food Facility and delivered through WFP’s Food/Cash-for-Assets (F/CFA) programme, is one of thousands of WFP F/CFA projects across Nepal that aim to meet the immediate food needs of local villagers whilst engaging them in work activities that increase household production and improve livelihoods.
“I am grateful to WFP and EUFF for starting the project in our village. Today, I will take home 40 kilogrammes of rice and 5 kilogrammes of lentils for my hard work,” Khina Biswokarma explains. Khina went on to describe the struggle she had been facing to provide enough food for her three young children prior to the work opportunity. After three consecutive years of drought, Khina’s family members are among more than 400 people who will benefit from the pond, with some eighty households from local communities gaining access to the water so they can irrigate their fields.
“Once the pond is constructed, I will use the water from there to grow vegetables in my field. I no longer have to depend on the rain or walk long distances to fetch water.
“Before most of time the land would remain unused as there was no irrigation, but now we can do something about it,” says Khina.
WFP’s Food/Cash For Assets (FCFA) programme
WFP’s Food/Cash For Assets (F/CfA) programme targets the most food-insecure and vulnerable commuities with projects that improve production and livelihoods while providing assistance to meet immediate food and nutrition needs. In 2010, the programme will target 1.6 million Nepalese people, work activities will include: road and bridge development and repair, irrigation systems, fishery ponds and cash crop cultivation. Project activities are designed to be undertaken between planting and harvest periods when household food stocks are leanest.