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Rapid Population Assessment-Gorkha


What is RPAT?

 The Raid Population Assessment Tool (RPAT) is to inform preliminary decisions in response to requests from local, district or national government to provide operation assistance by international agencies and NGOs to populations to be relocated.

 General Objective of RPAT:

  • Inform the humanitarian communities approach to involvement in temporary relocations.
  •  Underpin discussions with Government officials to ensure temporary relocations are conducted in line with international humanitarian law standards.

 Situation Analysis:

Based on the information gathered from the field visited by IOM Gorkha Hub and OCHA to the Simjun and Muchkok VDCs, Gorkha District, so far RPAT has been conducted in 3 sites.2 sites in Simjung VDC and 1 site in Muchkok VDC. Community focus group discussions and multiple (usually around 3 consisting of at least one female) key informant interviews were conducted using a common questionnaire; the use of both types of information gathering was aimed at capturing different perspectives within the community. The scope of the RPAT is solely for population living in their original place of origin who are planned for relocation due to monsoon related risks (predominately landsides), rather than those who have already voluntarily displaced.

 Direct observations included that houses were totally destroyed by the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes. All communities have access to markets after approximately one and a half hours of walking. No sites were accessible by vehicle. Trail access to these communities is good and whilst some trails that the team passed (those connecting communities rather than between communities and markets) have been damaged by landslides, they remain traversable. Communities were observed to be busy with planting and cultivating their lands.

 Key Message from sites population:

  • Displace population are not interested for temporary relocation that is planned by the Government( they want  permanent relocation)
  • They informed by the Government that they will not receive any compensation if they refused to be relocated, even if they are hit by landslides or any disaster again. 
  • Affected communities are living in their places of origin where they do planting and cultivate their farms.
  • They have not got clear information from the Government about the relocation plan, new relocation place and how they will be relocated.
  • Relocation is hard, since they have to move with their properties such as cartels, goats, etc. And are not sure whether they will get enough space, facilities and communities services in their new relocation places.
  • Government should provide basic services at these new relocation places before removing the people these areas.
  • Monsoon period is almost over; there is no need for relocation due to monsoon.
  • Displaced communities are aware of landslides risk at their current residency.
  • Affected communities are not willing to separate from each other.
  • People of Kusundi site in Muchchok VDC wants to move to the new relocation place ( Bhachchek (ward no. 8) which is 1 hour walking distance  from their present spot but it  must be a permanent relocation site for them.
  • Displaced people of  Kusundi site in Muchchok VDC are not guaranteed if  their new relocation place(Tari) is safe since it’s very close to their current location( 5 of walking distance)

 Recommendation:

  • RPAT should be conducted by professional personnel or well-trained enumerators due to sensitivity of the assessment, understanding of affected communities’ situations and feelings, trust building with host displaced people especially in individual interviews.
  • Female enumerator should be part of assessment team due to indication of women’s willingness to talk with female’s enumerator during the RPAT assessment conducted  in the 2 VDCs. This is exactly what I realized during my contribution in DTM &RIS assessments conducted at 12 sites in Gorkha, Makwanpur and Dhading districts. 
  • RPAT is useful for gathering information from displaced population on the relocations assessment.