Fish farming shores up flood-hit

ITAHARI: People in some Koshi flood-hit areas of Sunsari district, who could hardly rustle up two square meals earlier, have been able to better their living standard through fish farming.

Floods last August had put in peril the ancestral occupations of villagers in Paschim Kusaha, Madhuban, Prakashpur, Sripur and Haripur VDC areas. However, with some social organizations putting in place measures to encourage people to take up intensive fish farming, they have been able to escape from grinding poverty.

They have started fish farming in wetlands located in the east of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve considering agriculture a commercial enterprise.

Leasing 1 bigha and 10 kattha land, 30 households at Paschim Kusaha-9 have started farming fish in a group. “Now, we don’’t live in fear of how to eke out a living,” said Ram Dev Mukhiya, chairman of the group. Mukhiyas consider fish farming their traditional occupation. The wildlife reserve administration has made their task easier by issuing them licenses to catch fish. People belonging to other Malaha, Godi and Bahadar communities, who are also into fish farming in the district, are earning well.