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Oxfam beneficiaries from the Dadeldhura district of Western Nepal who have participated in the livelihoods programme in the area hold some of the products they have produced. (Photo: Jisu Mok / Oxfam) 

Oxfam in Nepal

Oxfam has been working in Nepal since the 1980s, addressing the poverty and injustices faced by women and other socially excluded groups through a variety of projects. We work to reduce poverty in Nepal and improve the well-being of vulnerable people by strengthening their participation in development and governance processes, and pushing for economic, social, institutional and policy changes.

Building back better

‘Now we can sell cold drinks to villagers and our daily profit has increased by 30 to 40 per cent.’

On 25 April, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal and claimed the lives of close to 9,000 people. Over 8 million people across 31 districts were affected and more than 850,000 houses were damaged or destroyed.

Since then, we at Oxfam have been working in seven of the worst-affected districts: Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Sindhupalchok, Dhading, Gorkha and Nuwakot. Besides responding to survivors’ immediate needs with things like emergency shelter and clean water, we also provided farmers with seeds and agricultural tools to help them resume their livelihoods.

At Shree Achaneh Secondary School in the village of Tripureshewor, Dhading, we helped form a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) association. ‘Without sanitation, we will suffer from different types of disease, like malaria and diarrhea. People will die sooner. Sanitation can change people’s lives,’ said Amib Adhikari, a member of the association.

In Bhirkat and Ghattekhola villages of the Kathmandu Valley – two villages severely affected by the earthquake – we not only built latrines and showers, but also provided multi-purpose grants to assist survivors. With this support, Sanju Lama and her husband Shakti Lama were able to resume their livelihoods again. The earthquake damaged their store, but with our grant, Sanju told us that they had the resources to buy a fridge and get their store up and running again: ‘Now we can sell cold drinks to villagers and our daily profit has increased by 30 to 40 per cent.’

Oxfam is now focusing on longer-term recovery and ensuring that this work meets people’s needs, both now and in the future. This work includes everything from providing sustainable water and sanitation facilities to training people to rehabilitate existing businesses.

Photo: Aubrey Wade / Oxfam

Photo: Meanna Yeung / Oxfam