Rudhigaun reeling under food crisis

Bajura, March 3

Locals of Bajura's far-flung Rudhigaun in Sappata VDC have been facing an acute food crisis for over two years now.

Rudhigaun is home to 156 families and faces acute food crisis throughout the year, said local Dil Bahadur Dhami. According to Dhami, the village has been reeling under food crisis due to prolonged drought and dry landslips sweeping away irrigation canals. "No crops have been planted in the region for the past four years due to the drought," Dhami added.

Another local Bir Bahadur Karki said he had to buy rice from as far as Kolti bazaar as he could not grow his own crops. "Buying rice grains and other food items throughout the year is not affordable to most of the locals. People have been making do in hungry stomachs due to lack of food," Karki lamented.

Though an irrigation canal was constructed at the cost of over Rs 20 million, it was swept away by a dry landslip. "Since the village has not received enough rainfall for long, we have left the fields barren," a villager said.

"Earlier when we had the irrigation facility, the fields would be full of crops and greenery. But, the lands have remained barren for the past four years," Dhami said.

It takes three hours' walk from the district headquarters Martadi to reach the village. Locals accuse the government of showing apathy towards their plight. "We are failing to feed our children. We fear we might die of starvation," said local Archana Karki.

Women and children in the village are battling malnutrition and blood deficiency due to acute shortage of food. "Green vegetables and fruits are scarce," another local Bina Bhusal said.

Meanwhile, the prolonged drought has forced most of the local youngsters to go to India for work. "The village now has elderly, women and children while they are facing various health problems due to the lack of enough food," said another local Janaki Tiruwa.

Local Chatur Bam complained that their repeated pleas to the government to solve the food crisis had been futile. Nepal Programme Director of Food First Information & Action Network, Ashok Singh, said the locals of Rudhigaun were denied their right to food.

Similarly, dry lands due to the prolonged drought has put the entire village in danger. As many as three persons were killed and 10 families were displaced due to dry landslip some four years ago in the village.