Women’s Empowerment at the Frontline of Adaptation
Good practices in climate change adaptation by individuals and organizations can be derived from literature reviews and field studies. The criterion for what can be considered ‘good practices’ is those measures undertaken by individuals or organizations that reduce their vulnerability to climate change impacts, such as those posed by water scarcity, decreasing agricultural production, early ripening of crops, and disasters (soil erosion, landslides, GLOFs). This chapter presents the adaptation practices happening on the ground in the study areas in relation to water; agriculture and food security, forests and forest products, and natural disasters. A matrix of climate change specific impacts and corresponding adaptation practices (although not necessarily good practices) can be found in Annex 5.
Adaptation practices at household/community level Permanent water storage tanks: Permanent water storage tanks (either cemented or made of stone) are being constructed at water sources to allow communities to prevent water runoff as well as collect water in order to provide controlled water supply to households as a long-term solution. Rainwater harvesting: Different techniques have been used for rainwater harvesting depending on the capacity and resources available. In some cases, artificial ponds have been constructed with plastic covered floors to prevent absorption and seepage of water. These ponds are mainly for irrigation or in biogas plants. Big and small drums are also being used to collect rainwater, usually for household consumption. Bamboo pipes are used to direct the rainwater from the roof top to the storage tanks or drums. These measures are adopted at individual and household levels and allow for only a small quantity of water storage; they do not offer a long- term solution to water scarcity. Deep boring: Deep boring is used in the hills to extract drinking water. Adaptation practices by organizations Sustainable use of water resources and conservation of water sources: The sustainable use of water resources and conservation of water sources is being promoted through awareness and capacity building (technical and institutional); water management; infrastructure development including the construction of water collection tanks and ponds; water recharge pits to collect water around water sources; sprinkle irrigation and drip irrigation; rainwater harvesting; and the construction of community and household level tanks. Organizations promoting such practices include Practical Action, Care Nepal, International Development Enterprise (IDE), OXFAM, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Government of Finland, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Soil conservation and watershed management: Soil conservation and watershed management, including conservation ponds used for storage of run-off water during excess rain to reduce erosion and for later use for the rehabilitation of degraded land through protection and plantation, is being promoted by the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management, Government of Nepal. Innovative, low-cost, piped water irrigation systems: The International Development Enterprise has taken a lead role in the promotion of innovative, low-cost, piped water irrigation systems, including multiple-use water systems (MUS) that provide water for irrigation and domestic use. MUS are about using water efficiently to bring about maximum outcomes. The International Development Enterprise has built more than 250 MUS in Nepal reaching out to 40,000 people. Assessment of adaptation practices from a gender perspective Adaptation practices require networks, information, skills, and investment: Many of the alternative adaptation practices in relation to water, particularly water harvesting, require networks, information, skills, and investment to develop infrastructure, which are generally not accessible to poor and Dalit women. For example, certain techniques that depend on collecting water from roof tops excludes poor households with thatched roofs and poor and Dalit households with little or no land around their house (for the installation of water storage tanks).
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