Light at the End of a Dark Night

Rama founded her vegetable farm in 2013, and within the subsequent year she had paid off her loan to WAWCAS. She quickly expanded her vegetable farm to a chicken farm. A farm that she is now working hard to reconstruct these months after a massive rainfall washed it away.

On the tenth of August 2014, the sky opened up and heavy rain came pouring down over Kapan in Nepal where Rama Rai lived with her husband and two children. The children were sound asleep, but Rama paced around nervously. She couldn’t sleep because of the heavy rain. The sound of the rain coming down on the roof of the cabin didn’t have the usual calming effect and was coming in through the cracks of the cabin.

“The children’s bed was already wet. But they were asleep so I gently put plastic over them to protect them and keep them as dry as possible. I didn’t want to wake them up and make them uncomfortable,” Rama Rai recalls.

But time wasn’t on her side. Only a moment later she discovered that water was coming through the wall in the other end of the cabin and within seconds her own bed was completely flooded. The rain and the loud yelling from their neighbours woke up the children. Rama’s husband worked as a night watch and while running out the cabin carrying both her children, she tried calling to him.

Water everywhere
With one child in her arms and one on her back, Rama was met with a saddening sight as she opened the cabin door. The river had breached its borders and, through the dark of night, Rama could catch a glimpse of her chicken – dead and floating in the water. At that point Rama Rai realized that all she could do was make sure that she and the children made it to safety. The farm she had built with support from WAWCAS was then under water.

“I ran. And then I stopped. I cried so much I made the children cry as well. They were scared and nervous. My head was filled with negative thoughts of the future. Everything I had worked for was flooded,” says Rama Rai. The family took shelter in a high place in the town where the water could not reach them, and during the night Rama Rai’s husband joined them.

Light ahead
Alongside her neighbours and friends, Rama Rai and her family waited for the rain to stop and the night to turn into day. They were tired, soaking wet, and didn’t know what to expect.

“When the morning finally came, the sun had begun to shine. But the sight we were met with when returning home was terrible. Practically all of the chickens had died and our home was flooded. I was crushed.”

While Rama Rai and her husband walked around to gather the dead chickens, the WAWCAS women’s group showed up. One by one they brought warm food, tea and a lot of support and love.

“It made a huge difference that they showed up. My energy came back. Their support is irreplaceable. I’m still working on reconstructing my chicken and vegetable farm. It’s a lot of hard work but I’m not alone.”