Nepal | February 21, 2020

Prolonged drought forces Bajura men to leave villages for livelihood

Prakash Singh
Bajura women,

Women carrying goods from Kolti Bazaar in Jagannath Rural Municipality of Bajura district, on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Photo: Prakash Singh/THT

BAJURA: A continued drought across several rural municipalities of Bajura has compelled most men to leave their homes to earn a livelihood elsewhere, as they battle the longest drought the region has witnessed in 42 years.

Most of the fertile land in Bajura district has remained barren because of the four-year-long drought leading to food crisis in the area.

Villages in the remote areas of Bajura, Bajhang, Mugu, and Humla look deserted as most men have left the country in worries of an impending food scarcity, according to Govinda Bahadur Malla, Chair of Himali Rural Municipality in Bajura district.

Chair Malla further said, four local levels in northern Bajura, two rural municipalities in Shreenagar area of Humla, and many villages of Shreekot in Mugu are without men.

The long drought has forced as many as 400 persons of 265 households of the Dalit community of Bhiu village in Khatyad to leave the country for India in fear of food crisis. This number is 25 per cent of the total population of the rural municipality.

Similarly, most males in Taja Maila Rural Municipality-1 in Humla and Sappata village of Swamikartik Rural Municipality-1 in Bajura have left the village to earn a livelihood in India. Some villages have even witnessed whole families migrating to India or to other parts of the country for their livelihood.

“If somebody dies in the village, women have to perform the cremation rites as well,” said Man Bahadur Rokaya, a local teacher.

This exodus of men has left only females in the villages who are forced to get involved in development and social works in addition to fulfilling household responsibilities.

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