USAID and FAO

29th March 2024, Kathmandu

Maili Gurung, a resident of Barpak Sulikot, Ward 1 rural Municipality, expressed happiness with her gestures and words while sharing her feelings about the construction of gabion walls and bioengineering protective measures in a landslide area near her home.  She interacted with representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and officials from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who visited her village on March 27th.

Gorkha witnessed a devastating earthquake in 2015, resulting in multiple cracks and landslides in several areas of the district. FAO through a USAID-funded project contributed to multiple landslide protection measures and pilot the establishment of landslide early warning systems (LEWS) in one of the most at-risk areas of Gorkha. Around 341 households benefited from the interventions, which focused on landslide risk preparedness, livelihood improvements, and capacity enhancement of the local government as well as landslide-prone communities. The project also restored approximately 16 hectares of agricultural land.

Early Warning Systems

Gabions are frequently used to shore up waterways and roads but this project combines gabions with plants such as broom grasses, and bamboo that prevent soil erosion as well as feed for livestock.

USAID met with local government officials who appreciated the progress made in minimizing disaster risks and highlighted FAO’s role in successfully implementing the project. All parties stressed the importance of continuous improvement and expansion of such systems to ensure maximum safety for vulnerable populations. USAID emphasized the significance of integrating technological advancements like LEWS into comprehensive disaster risk reduction strategies throughout Nepal. Ongoing tripartite collaboration among USAID, FAO, and the local government was critical to this project’s success.

Mr. Arjun Singh Thapa, the FAO program specialist overseeing this project, expressed gratitude to the USAID team for their financial support and to the local government for including key stakeholders in taking ownership of the implementation and monitoring of the project.

USAID and FAO Emphasize

A District Soil and Watershed Management Officer, Chandra Prasad Sedain, recalled the necessity of technical assistance around LEWS from FAO and appreciated USAID for facilitating this collaborative project with the government, which is revitalizing life in disaster-prone areas. Yam Prasad Pulami, a local of Sulikot, shared that community members in the project areas now have more confidence in their everyday safety from landslides as a result of these measures.

Chairperson of Barpak Sulikot Rural Municipality, Bishnu Bhatta, who participated in the construction of protective infrastructures around landslide areas in his village, thanked USAID and FAO for providing financial and technical assistance to his municipality.

USAID and FAOs trip to Gorkha and Barpak from 25-27 March 2024 concluded with both parties agreeing upon the importance of sustained investment and collaboration in enhancing early warning systems as a fundamental component of landslide risk reduction strategies. USAID and FAO reaffirmed their commitment to supporting government entities to take ownership of such initiatives that directly contribute to the safety and resilience of communities in earthquake-prone areas such as Barpak. These initiatives reduced landslide risks in affected areas and created opportunities for people to engage in productive livelihood activities.

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