Bajura, February 16
Prolonged drought has adversely hit locals of five districts in Karnali and one district in Seti.
The three-year drought has badly affected eastern parts of Bajura, Humla, Mugu, Jumla, Dolpa and Kalikot districts. It is the longest drought in the last 41 years. Due to drought, farmers in the region have not cultivated anything for the last three years.
Protracted drought has hit life hardest in Bajura’s Swamikartik, Himali and Pandabgufa rural municipalities.
Farmers of Jukot, Sappata, Wai, Gotri, Jagannath, Bandu and Rugin, among other places, have left their land uncultivated. Many rural folks have even left their homes after they failed to make their ends meet.
“Drought had hit us in 2022 BS. That year, however, we had planted crops. But, due to the prolonged drought of the last three years, we have not been able to plant crops,” complained Jaidhan Rai, 72, of Bajura’s Himali Rural Municipality-4.
Locals are waiting for the government-funded developmental project due to acute shortage of food items. They have no choice but to work at the project to earn some cash to procure food items for family. Protracted drought has caused food crisis in Mugu’s Khatyad Rural Municipality. Out of 265 Dalit families, more than 400 families have left for India in search of jobs.
One fourth of the population from Bhiu village has already left for India seeking jobs.
With food crisis deepening, children of school going age have stopped attending classes and started leaving for India in search of jobs.
Chairperson Bagdal Malla at Tajakot Maila Rural Municipality in Humla said several men from Kalikot, Humla, Mugu and Humla had headed for India to make their ends meet after production of agro items was hit by the prolonged drought.
Technical Assistant at District Agriculture Development Office, Bajura, Min Prasad Jaishi said food and nutrition security had reached a critical stage due to drought, landslide and other natural calamities.
A version of this article appears in print on February 17, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.