The National Consultation for the trans-boundary project on the Kosi river basin was held on the 9th of October with the objective to bring together experts on the issue of disaster, climate change and gender to discuss the issues that have arisen during the project and find the best possible ways forward. The Consultation also had Elected Women Representatives from Bihar and Women leaders from Nepal who have been an integral part of the project in the trainings and training of trainers. These women leaders shared their experience of working as elected heads in a male dominated sphere and the kinds of complexities faced by them as women during floods.
Among the many key issues discussed in the day consultation were the activities undertaken during the project, the issues and challenges faced on the ground, to which even the partner organisations in Bihar and Nepal presented their understanding and observation points while working on the same. Other than this, there was a presentation on the impact assessment by an external consultant who had given a review and impact assessment feedback during the evaluation of the project.
Some of the key points of learning was that trainings in the four districts seemed effective and the results out of them and hand-holdings appeared satisfactory as the local women were able to talk about precautionary measures before and after floods and could strike examples of gender discrimination from their own lives. The other major highlights were the capacity building measures through the handholding was the initiation and building of disaster committees, which was an innovation on its own. The primary function of these committees was to engage and mobilize the local women to work on advocacy of disaster and gender issues on the field, working side by side of PRIs and the municipalities. Some of suggestions and inputs that came out strongly were the strengthening of these newly formed committees, Integration with VDMP plan under Disaster Risk Reduction roadmap of government of Bihar, as well as coordination with DDMA, PHED and agriculture department for solving intersectoral issues, formation of a joint committee like that of a citizen forum of women from India and Nepal near border area to work collectively on the issue.
The key dignitaries present were Mr. Sagar Prasai, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation; Mr. D.K. Manavalan from AFRO; Mr. Amit Kumar from Oxfam; Warisha Yunus from UNDP.
Have a look at our Twitter moment of the event.