2018 Mid-Antrim Tearfund walk
Friday May 18th at Shanes Castle, Antrim
from 10am until dusk, refreshments provided
This year we plan to raise £20,000 to help a remote community in Nepal recover from the 2015 earthquake and prepare for the future
Sabal is 37 and lives in the remote region of Dhaubadi in Nawalparasi district. There are just 32 houses in his village. The roads that link the village to the rest of the district are so bad, cars cannot use them. In other words, Sabal’s village is isolated. As a result, most of the villagers, like Sabal, depend on agriculture. Sabal, has been rearing livestock since he was a seven year old. He owns 17 goats, four cows and two oxen. These animals are his lifeline. In Nepal, agriculture can be the difference between eating and going hungry, getting educated and being forced to drop out, thriving and just surviving. Sabal’s future, and the future of his family, depend on his animals.
However, in Nepal, disaster is never far away. With families so reliant on agriculture, the impact of a climate related disasters, such as a floods, landslides or droughts, could be devastating, let alone an earthquake like the one which hit Nepal in 2015. As livelihoods are hit, people can be left with nothing, meaning children are withdrawn from school to work, putting them at risk of trafficking and ruining their opportunities for the future. Disasters also come in the form of disease. Over 80% of Nepalis live in rural areas, with agriculture as their way of life. Farmers are at risk of disease attacking their crops or livestock, which equally, could wipe out livelihoods. With such heavy reliance on agriculture, and the constant threat of disaster, many are teetering on the edge of poverty.
When nine of his goats died due to an unknown disease, Sabal lost the equivalent of 70,000 Nepalese Rupees, about £519. This was a huge amount of money for Sabal. He was afraid of losing more goats to disease, and so immediately sold six, even though they were less valuable than they could be as they were not mature. Sabal was becoming desperate.
This project, run by Tearfund partner United Mission to Nepal (UMN), is endeavouring to assist communities to have knowledge of disasters and their consequences, whilst learn the skills to become more resilient to the shocks they bring. It aims to challenge perceptions that communities can’t do anything to prevent the impact of disasters, and will look to address how communities can limit the damage they do to the environment. The project includes various aspects of prevention, mitigation and response for communities to become more resilient. The church will be involved by becoming leaders and encouraging community action, this will help provide sustainability once the project finishes.