Nepal | November 15, 2019

Farmers reeling under prolonged drought

Himalayan News Service

Bajura, September 21

Crops have withered due to prolonged drought in Bajura, Humla and Mugu districts. Farmers in some rural municipalities in the districts have been reeling under drought for the past four years.

Long spell of drought has affected farmers in Swamikartik, Jagannath and Himali rural municipalities of Bajura; Tajakot and Adanchuli rural municipalities of Humla and Khatyang and Soru rural municipalities of Mugu. Chairman of Tajakot Rural Municipality Bagdal Malla said food shortage might hit the drought-affected areas.

As many as 400 families at Wai village have lost their seasonal crops to the drought. Local farmers were sad after their crops, including vegetables, wilted in the fields.

A local, Narbada Jaisi wondered, “How could we support our families with the drought destroying our crops?”

Another local, Nabin Giri at Wai village said villagers had planted paddy during rainy season, but paddy plants had turned into dry grass in the fields for want of water. “The Karnali River flows below the paddy fields while paddy plants have gone dry,” he added, lamenting lack of irrigation facility and for having to depend on rain water.

A local teacher, Man Bahadur Rokaya said land meant for paddy cultivation at Dhim and Phuti of Himali Rural Municipality and at Wai, Saptta, Jukot of Swamikartik Rural Municipality were left barren.

Chief at Agriculture Department in Budhinanda Municipality Ghamanda Bharati, said agricultural production was less due to prolonged drought in the district. Locals said they were weary of the drought situation that had contined for years. They lamented that their fertile farmlands had turned barren due to the drought.

The locals have been haunted by the fear of looming food shortage.

A version of this article appears in print on September 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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