Global Partners, March 2023

Written by Hannah Evans, Senior Analyst | Published: March 13, 2023


Mahakali women’s empowerment meeting in the Mahakali Basin (Hannah Evans in front row, far right; Kamal Rawal in back row, far right)

Rural Women’s Development and Unity Center (RUWDUC) is an NGO that supports rural development programs in environmental conservation, health care, and women’s empowerment throughout the far-western region of Nepal. RUWDUC provides scholarships for school students, supports community-led women’s leadership groups, hosts educational workshops in reproductive health and safe childcare, and provides shelter and maternal care for pregnant women throughout rural, at-risk Nepali communities. RUWDUC’s initiatives have helped thousands of low-income people access quality health care services, including pre- and post-natal care for women and their children.

RUWDUC’s current initiatives also focus on disaster relief in response to climate impacts in Nepal. With the help of USAID and Oxfam, RUWDUC helps provide aid to affected communities and facilitates community-led climate adaptation efforts throughout Nepal’s most affected regions.

In 2022, Population Connection worked with RUWDUC to help fund the reconstruction of an early flood warning system that was destroyed during the October 2021 Mahakali flood, which displaced 90 families. Additionally, Population Connection has contributed funding for the distribution of food, water, and clothing on behalf of RUWDUC to the families displaced by recent climate-induced floods.

Mahendra Secondary School in Dureldurha (Kamal Rawal in front row, far right; Hannah Evans in back row, far right)

RUWDUC’s Transboundary Rivers of Asia (TROSA) project provides water filtration systems to communities with limited and uncertain access to potable water. TROSA has also established disaster alert systems in vulnerable communities in response to the increasingly consistent—yet unpredictable—weather patterns associated with climate change. The project emphasizes the training and participation of women as managers of the disaster alert systems and leaders in water resource management throughout four districts along the Mahakali and Jogbudha rivers.