Sarita Chaudhary, 54, plants sugarcane. For years her community — a small, indigenous Tharu village of 22 households — was at risk from the nearby river: the water would rise repeatedly, and quickly, wiping out crops and livestock and forcing families from their homes. Ten years ago the flooding was so bad it killed all the livestock and displaced the entire community. Without animals or land to farm on, Sarita had no way to provide for her children, and nowhere else to go.
To help Sarita and the community build resilience to climate-related flooding, Mercy Corps helped them learn to grow sugarcane, planting it along the river bank to hold back the water and cultivating it in the nearby fields to be sell to local sugar factories for income. The flood risk was decreased so much after the planting the community was able to reclaim 40 hectares of land for farming and living, allowing every family to return home, including Sarita’s.