Cash for work continues to make positive impact in people’s lives
Women's role in Cash for Work has been central in many places like this one in Nuwakot. Photo by: Sujan Ghimire/Oxfam
Raj Kumar Pandey in Dhading and Neeraj Tharu in Nuwakot
Oxfam in partnership with Prayas Nepal and Action Nepal implemented Cash for Work (CFW) activity recently for 5389 households in six VDCs of Dhading. A total of 80 beneficiaries worked physically for 22 days, earning a daily wage of Rs 536. The project was widening four-kilometer trail between Belbhanjyang and Mayatar.
“It is much easier and safer for me to walk to school as the road is now widened,” says 11-year-old Nirajan BK. a grade-two student at Bel Bhanjyang Primary School in Dhading. The dangerously narrow roads, on the edge of a hill have been expanded by six feet.
Forty-seven-year-old Keshari Maya Magar is also relieved. “It was risky for me to take my livestock for grazing earlier but not anymore,” she says. Also improved road has now increased people’s access to fodder for their livestock
CFW programme was started with the objective of providing medium term food and livelihood support to earthquake affected population. Prior to Cash for work implementation; people of Belbhanjyang had to bear risk their lives while walking through the trail. Farmers had to walk 90 minutes to reach Malekhu to sell their produce.
“I would have to walk for 90 minutes to sell vegetables in the nearby market but now it takes only 45 minutes after the road was widened” says Ek Bahadur Magar, 37, Belbhanjyang thankfully. Now, motorbikes can also be used for commutes in these areas.
In order to help people affected by the 2015 earthquake, Oxfam in Nepal with its partners started providing temporary jobs to the people so that they could earn for themselves and at the same time, their community structures would also be built back better.
Reaching out to the vulnerable
“I bought a goat from the money I received from CFW and now I will earn more in future by rearing it,” says sixty eight-year-old Ram Krishna Devkota who lives with his speech-impaired wife in Samundradevi VDC in Nuwakot. Their house collapsed in 2015’s earthquake, killing goats and destroying food grains. They own a few ropanis of land but lack irrigation facilities affecting the yield as a result their daily dietary requirements are also not met.
They live on their own as their only son does not take care of them. Meeting their ends meet has been a challenge after the earthquake. Through Cash for Work, however, Devkota was able to earn nearly Rs 19,000. He worked for 40 days earning Rs 460 per day (government has set different wage rate for different districts). Because of his age, he was allowed to do light works such as providing water for other workers, providing them tools to fix community’s trails and irrigation canals.
He wants to rear and sell goats next year during Dashain when the demand for goat meat will be high. The CFW is also aimed at helping people meet their daily dietary requirements by giving them temporary job. More than 17, 000 households have been benefited through CFW in Nuwakot district and Dhading districts.