©InfoMundirmaya Tumbapo, 58, is a farmer and has firsthand experience of the impact that landslides have on communities. She lost her house and all her family belongings one night but, luckily, there were no fatalities.
“Three years ago, I was living in Zangale, the most risky landslide area in Chogmagu. Landslides had been troubling us and other households near us for some years,” Mundirmaya explains. “Each year, we saw the land sliding, slowly changing the landscape and I knew my house was in danger but there was nothing I could do. I had no land to move to as I come from a poor family. One night a landslide happened very quickly and caused massive destruction of life and property in my community.
“After we lost our home, I heard about the Red Cross programme and how it had set up a disaster risk reduction (DRR) unit, which helps people like me and my family. I went to a community gathering and found out more about the programme activities and how I could get involved.”
Emergency community fund
Since then, Mundirmaya has become a member of the community committee, and has contributed 50 rupees (67p) towards the emergency community fund – a fund where people contribute cash or grains to be used in times of disaster to assist those most affected.
Mundirmaya and her family are now living in a new home and although they have no land for farming, she and her husband have found a solution to this problem. They jointly hire land from other people to produce food crops. Some of the harvested crops are given to the landlord as rent and the rest is sold in the market.
Mundirmaya says: “I took out an income generation loan from the DRR unit, which helped me to do some vegetable farming. I grew cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, and oranges and sold them in the market. I made some good returns from this. With the profits, I purchased two buffalos and one pig.”
Now, the income from keeping animals and selling fruit and vegetables is enough for Mundirmaya’s children’s school fees as well as the expenses of their basic household needs.
“Without the opportunity to participate in the Red Cross programme, we would still be very poor with no alternatives for gaining an income or getting a loan that we could afford,” explains Mundirmaya. “Now, I have high expectations for my family.”
Read Ranju's story
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