“The water would destroy homes and all our crops. Now we have a dam, our land is protected and we can start growing food again. We also repaired the road so we can go to market and sell our produce.” – Dammar Khadka, WFP Food/Cash-for-Assets programme beneficiary.
The fertile southern belt of Nepal known as the Terai is considered to be the “bread basket” of the country. However, it is also prone to flooding and landslides during the monsoon season every year, when large crop losses are extensive and houses and livelihoods washed away.
The Kailali district in far-western Nepal is one of 19 districts in the Terai and its local villagers struggle to cope with the effects of floods, landslides and soil erosion every year, many of them losing their entire livelihoods to the waters. Through its Food/Cash-for-Assets (F/CFA) programme, WFP works with local communities in the Kailali district to build and repair vital infrastructure such as dams, levees and roads. This helps villagers protect and increase their production while improving their access to markets.
Dammar Khadka from Bhajani Village Development Committee in Kailali is one of the F/CFA programme’s beneficiaries and has participated in reconstructing a dam and rural road in his village. “During the monsoon,” he says, “more than 60 homes were lost to the river. The water would destroy homes and all our crops. Now that we have a dam, our homes and crops are protected and we can start growing food again. We also repaired the road so we can go to market and sell our produce.”
Dammar and other beneficiaries receive NPR140 per day under the F/CFA programme in exchange for working on these community infrastructure projects. “I used the cash to purchase food from the market to make up for the food that I had lost during the floods. I also used the money to enrol my children in school,” Dammar explains.
In 2009, WFP Nepal received US$12million in funding from the EU Food Facility to undertake livelihood and agricultural improvement projects through food/cash for work activities.
WFP’s Food/Cash-for-Assets (F/CFA) programme
WFP’s Food/Cash-for-Assets (FCFA) 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.