Seven days to double your donation and help hungry communities in Nepal
Almost 50% of the population in the mountainous District of Achham in Nepal live in poverty. Water access is poor, agriculture is dwindling and climate change is creating ever-increasing uncertainty for remote communities across this mid and high-hills district. Conditions in Achham are driving high out-migration among men who are forced to go elsewhere for work, leaving women, children and the elderly behind in villages with poor water access, limited food and reliant on remittances for survival.
Through our new project, UREKA (Using Renewable Energy to Kickstart Agriculture), we aim to transform this situation for 2,723 people in five of the poorest and hardest to reach communities in Achham.
Using solar-powered water pumping technology (SolarMUS) and climate-smart agriculture, UREKA will drive improvements in food security and incomes, as well as safe water, sanitation and hygiene for some 2,723 people in the project communities. Beyond this, some 9,146 people will gain access to enhanced agricultural cooperative services, helping small producers to grow a wider range of crops, get them to market and earn more from crop sales.
We are thrilled to have been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the Big Give’s Green Match Fund. We are hoping to raise £20,000 to help remote communities build resilience to climate change and improve agriculture through UREKA, but we need your help!
For seven days, from midday on Thursday 22nd April until midday on Thursday 29th April 2021, any donations you make through the Big Give website will be doubled.
Countdown until the Big Give Green Match Fund opens!
The Big Give Green Match Fund, and your opportunity to double your donation, will open in:
What is the Big Give Green Match Fund?
The Green Match Fund is a match funding campaign for charities that are working on environmental issues as part of their core mission. For seven days, it offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled on theBigGive.org.uk. This means that all donations made to Renewable World via theBigGive.org.uk during the week of the campaign (22nd -29th April 2021) will be matched up to a total of £20,000.
Why is access to water and improved agriculture so important?
Kaile Bhul lives in one of the communities we hope to help through UREKA. He told us of the problems he faces due to a lack of water.
“I work in India. My son has started poultry farming here. But due to a lack of water to feed to chickens, now we cannot keep the chickens.“
Many hilltop villages face a daily challenge accessing enough water to meet their needs. With water sources located far below their communities, women and children bear the brunt of the work involved in fetching and carrying water. Their day is dominated by the endless struggle of collecting enough water for drinking, cooking and washing.
The lack of water makes agriculture all but impossible outside the rainy season. And even that small window of agricultural opportunity is becoming unreliable due to climate change. Because of this, fields that could be used to grow crops and generate an income lie barren and unused for most of the year.
This situation is particularly acute in Achham. Only 37% of the population can feed themselves year-round through their own food production, and 28,000 homes are food insecure for at least six months a year. Food security is a real and urgent problem for people here.
Layati village lies 6.5 km from the main road and sits on a hilltop at an altitude of approximately 4,000 ft, not far off the height of Ben Nevis. The community, which has 85 households, is mainly composed of people from the marginalized Dalit caste.
People in Layati endure extreme water scarcity for most of the year. The nearest water source is 1.5 km away, a 30-minute walk down a rocky path that becomes extremely slippery during the rainy season, putting the women and children who fetch water at great risk every day. Layati is one of the communities we hope to help through UREKA.
UREKA will provide five communities with their own solar-powered water pumping system, providing easy access to a safe, reliable and affordable water source at the point of need for a total of 2,723 people. Instead of wasting hours each day queuing for and carrying water, families in Layati will be able to access the water they need from a tap stand just outside their home.
With access to water, year-round agriculture will be possible. To further support these five communities, we will provide training in climate-smart agriculture, introducing new approaches, like plastic tunnels, drip irrigation, organic fertiliser and integrated pest management, along with the reintroduction of traditional drought-resistant heritage seeds that support year-round agricultural production. We will work with Lead Farmers in each community to inspire others to adopt and roll out these approaches, using a ‘Healthy Garden, Better Home’ concept.
We will also work with three agricultural cooperatives to help them improve their ability to better support small-scale rural producers from across the project communities. This will include increasing access to improved tools, seeds, organic fertilisers, produce collection centres and equipment that will support agricultural processing, such as solar driers. These activities will help strengthen small producers’ ability to get their produce to market.
With community members engaged in sustainable and climate-friendly farming activities, we expect to see significant improvement in food security and income generating capacity within the project communities. This will help build resilience among communities on the frontline of climate change.
Harikala benefitted from one of our earlier solar water pumping projects. After receiving agricultural training, she started growing vegetables on her land. Her family now regularly enjoy a wealth of fresh home-grown vegetables and the surplus, which she sells at market, helps with the family’s expenses.
“Agriculture was impossible when we didn’t have easy access to water. I now spend most of my time in my fields. It provides me with my own money, which means I don’t have to ask my husband every time I need to buy something for myself or my children.”
With your support this April, we can ensure that Harikala’s success story is replicated across five communities in Achham, providing a brighter, more sustainable and resilient future for almost three thousand people. So please, support us and double your donation during the Big Give Green Match Fund.
Pledge your support today
You can donate to our Green Match Fund campaign from midday (UK time) on 22nd April. Please pledge your support now using the form below. We will then contact you on 22nd April to let you know how to complete your donation and get it doubled.