Koshi Housing Project
In 2008, the bursting of Sapta Koshi River resulted in extreme levels of flooding in many areas of Sunsari District in Eastern Nepal. UN Habitat in partnership with Lumanti worked to rehabilitate the landless flood victims within framework of Koshi Early Recovery Project (KERP) led by the government. The rehabilitation or the shelter project was a partnership program among the government, UN Habitat/UNDP, Lumanti and the local organizations and the communities. The government had purchased land for the resettlement, UNHabitat/UNDP provided fund for the housing construction. Some additional support for the housing was also contributed by ACHR. The fund for investment in WASH facilities was provided by BASF, a long-standing partner of UN-Habitat with additional support from Water Supply and Sanitation Division Office (WSSDO). A total of 235 individual bamboo housing units were constructed and rehabilitated the families from 5 wards of two VDCs Haripur and Shreepur, in Sunsari District with total population of 1432.
The purpose of the rehabilitation project was to provide secured housing and access to water and sanitation facilities to the flood affected landless families. This was a process oriented project and had involved the landless families in planning, implementation and monitoring of housing developments and water and sanitation facilities. It has also brought significant benefits to the flood affected landless families. The user committee, saving groups and NBBSS unit committee were instrumental in completing the project. The positive response of the DDRC, VDC and the ward offices to the housing needs of the flood affected landless families are the major achievements. Land and house ownership was provided jointly in the name of the husband and a wife after lobbying at the District Administration Office. This was again a significant achievement made as women became the co-owner of the land and house. This project can serve as a guide for future rehabilitation plan and programme.
Families who used to live with constant fear of eviction during last 50 years and encountered numerous problems are now relieved to own house including land title as a solution for their long standing problem of shelter. The project contributed in reducing the vulnerability and risks of the flood affected people. Access to drinking water and sanitation helped women reduce their work burden. The project has stimulated self-help and self management and also developed a range of management, technical skills that have enhanced the community’s credibility. A key outcome of the project in this respect is the formation of Housing Management Committee to facilitate their developmental activities.