Food crunch hits Jumla, Kalikot hard

Jumla, March 11:

Far-flung villages of the districts of Jumla and Kalikot have been reeling under famine, thanks to a prolonged dry spell and the Nepal Food Corporation (NFC)’s policy of supplying food grains to the people living in the district headquarters.

The district of Jumla has not witnessed rain for the past eight months. Thanks to a prolonged drought, harvest of maize and barley was next to nothing this year, said Lakshu Budha of Majhbudu, Jumla.

Rice stored in the godowns of the NFC office are beyond our reach, he said. “We reach the district headquarters after walking for two days, only to be told that there is no rice,” Budha said. “We get five kg of rice occasionally,” Budha said, wondering: “How are we supposed to live on the largesse?”

People living in the district headquarters eat up food sent by the government for the people living in remote areas, complained Dhan Lal Budha, another local.

The villagers might desert the village if the government doesn’t initiate relief measures at the earliest, Budha said.

Most of the villages of Kalikot have also been reeling under famine. Standing crops have wilted in the VDCs of Ramnakot, Dhaulagoha, Thirpu and Khin, Sarpa Lal Neupane of Dhaulagoha said.

“We could have survived on nettle plants,” he said, adding: “But they have also died.” Food grains supplied by the government is limited to Manma, the district headquarters of Kalikot, Dhir Bahadur Bam said, calling on the government to make food grains available to the villagers in the villages.

However, Surkhet branch office of the NFC said there was adequate stock of food grains in the headquarters of the two districts.

While 9500 quintals of food grains has been supplied to Jumla, 5300 quintals have been supplied to Kalikot. The godowns in Jumla and Kalikot still have 3,000 quintals 400 quintals of food grains acting chief of the Surkhet branch office of the NFC, Khadka Gyawali, said. Ninty-five per cent quota of yearly-allotted food grains has already been supplied in the districts, Gyawali said.

Meanwhile, a human rights activist of Kalikot, Jaj Raj Shahi, said efforts were underway to airlift food grains in the villages.

“We have taken initiatives after villagers demanded that food grains be made available in villages,” Shahi said, adding that the process will be initiated after reaching an agreement with the administration and the Maoists.

Humla, too, bears the brunt

Humla: Drought and famine are hitting the district of Humla hard as there has been scanty snowall this year leaving only four inch of snows on the ground.

Usually, Humla gets 5-10 feet of snowfall during the winter season.

Standing barley and wheat crops have wilted due to the drought condition.

People living in the souther parts of the Himalayan district have been reeling under famine.

Famine has been making inroads into every part of the Himalayan district because crop yield in the district was next to nothing this year.

Leaves of vegetables and have dried up due to the prolonged drought conditions.

Fires have been reported in many parts of the Himalayan district due to prevailing drought conditions. —RSS