Food shortage hits Bajura, Darchula

Dhangadhi, September 7:

Food depots based in the districts of Bajura and Darchula districts are running out of food grains, sparking fears that famines may strike the people during the festival of Dashain. The situation arose after the Nepal Food Corporation, citing unfavourable circumstances, stopped airlifting food grains to remote corners of the far-west two months ago.

Prayag Joshi, who arrived to Dhangadhi from Kolti of Bajura, said: “Food depots have been running out of food for over a week.” Among others, the villages of Khandeshwori, Sunsera and Pari bazaar have been reeling under food shortage. The villagers said it takes a day’s walk to reach the Gokule bazaar, where rice can be bought at Rs 60 per kg. “Though rice is considered one of the cheapest food grains, it is still very costly for the villagers,” said Gopalnath, who came to the terai from the hills in search of food. Citing difficult circumstances, the Seti Zonal Office of the Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has not yet supplied 425 quintals of rice to Darchula. However, it said an attempt is being made to airlift 200 quintals of rice.

Last fiscal year, the NFC could not send a consignment of 1, 675 quintals of rice meant for Bajura. According to data, just 2,325 quintals of rice — out of 4,000 quintals meant for the district — has so far been supplied to the NFC Martadi branch office. Just 1,500 quintals — out of a consignment of 2005 quintals of rice — has been supplied to the Kolti-based depot in Bajura. Citing difficult situation, NFC has not supplied 500, 700 and 200 quintals of food to Sunesara, Khandeshwori and Paribazaar depots in Darchula.