Food crisis hits Dhading, Mugu villages

DHADING: Prolonged drought has caused acute food shortage in northern parts of Dhading district.

In the VDCs, particularly Tipling, Lapa, Sertung, Jharlang and Ree, which are a three-day walk from the district headquarters Dhadingbesi, there has been no rainfall in the past nine months. Only wheat, barley, maize, millet, potato and buckwheat are produced in the mountainous area.

“The crops have dried in the fields,” locals said. In the lack of other produces, the villagers have been relying on millet for six months. For the other six moths, when the villagers run out of food, they they earn their livelihood by working as porters and collecting and selling medicinal herbs. This year, the half-year food security was upset due to the drought.

The drought has hit even the herb collection, Tek Bahadur Gurung, a Laparichet local said. The availability of medicinal herbs such as Lokta, Chiraito, Panch Aunle, Jatamasi, Nirmasi and Yarshagumba is on a gradual decline down the years.

In order to buy food items, the people need to reach as far as Kintaphedi, where goods are transported by vehicles from Dhadingbesi. It costs Rs 22 to transport per kilogram of goods to Lapa and Tipling on mulebacks from Kintangphedi. Starvation looms large if the situation persists and no alternative measures are introduced.

“The government has paid no attention to the locals’ demand of setting up a herb procession plant here,” Men Ghale, CPN-UML district member from Tipling, said.

Meanwhile, our Mugu correspondent Jeevan Sejuwal reports that people in the rural areas of the district are facing a food crisis.

The drought has caused food crisis in Viyi, Narthabu, Jima, Photu, Rara, Kalai and Dhainakot VDCs. Of the 1250 quintals of rice allotted for each drought-hit VDC, only a total of 639 quintals has been supplied to the area.

“The crops of barely, wheat, millet, and beans could not be cultivated this year due to the dry weather,” Anipal Dhami, a Viyi local said. The people in the area would go to places of Humla for food, which is not possible this year as the other remote district is also facing a similar problem.