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Surkhet suffered from food insecurity due to floods

- Post Report, KATHMANDU
Surkhet suffered from food insecurity due to floods

Jan 29, 2015-

Six village development committees (VDCs) in Surkhet were highly food insecure in the period from mid-July to mid-November due to floods and landslides in mid-August last year, the Nepal Food Security Monitoring System, a report jointly prepared by the Ministry of Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, said.

The six VDCs of Taranga, Lekhparajul, Hariharpur, Tatopani, Ghatgaon and Dharapani with a combined population of 25,167 persons in 5,819 households were highly food insecure.

Food consumption gaps were higher than normal and households were able to meet minimum food needs only through the accelerated depletion of livelihood assets.

A majority of the affected households are living in temporary shelters and relying on external support for food and non-food needs, the report said. Likewise, another 127 VDCs in seven districts have been reported as being moderately food insecure, a situation where households are able to meet minimum food needs with traditional

coping strategies but are unable to afford some essential non-food expenditures without engaging in irreversible coping strategies.

There were four moderately food insecure VDCs in Salyan, nine each in Jajarkot, Surkhet and Mugu, seven in Humla, 58 in Saptari and 31 in Siraha.

The monitoring system classifies the food security situation into five phases—minimally insecure, moderately insecure, highly insecure, emergency or severely insecure and humanitarian emergency.

In the Eastern Development Region, 58 VDCs in Saptari and 31 VDCs in Siraha continue to be affected by last year’s paddy production loss, and the situation is expected to improve only after paddy is harvested in late November, the report said.

In the rest of the Eastern Development Region, the food security situation has improved, notably in Khotang, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Terhathum, Panchthar and Taplejung.

Districts in the Far Western Development Region had a generally stable food security situation during this period, with all the VDCs and municipalities classified as minimally food insecure. The Western and Central development regions continue to have a stable food security situation with all the VDCs classified as minimally food insecure.

The report said that some districts of  the Mid- and Far Western development regions—Banke, Bardia, Surkhet, Dang and Kailali—experienced severe floods

and landslides in August, which affected agriculture, livelihoods and overall food security.

For the next four-month period (mid-November 2014 to mid-March 2015), the report has forecast that 194 VDCs—19 in Achham, seven in Bajura, 24 in Doti, 14 in Baitadi, 20 in Darchula, 27 in Bajhang, four in Salyan, nine in Jajarkot, 15 in Surkhet, 24 in Mugu, 18 in Humla and 13 in Kalikot—will be classified as moderately food insecure or worse.

In 58 VDCs in Saptari and 31 VDCs in Siraha, the food security situation is expected to improve to minimally food insecure as household food stocks increase with the paddy harvest. The report said that because of the late paddy transplantation due to a delayed monsoon last year, the ministry has predicted a potential loss in overall paddy production.

Markets are expected to meet the demand for food with adequate stockpiles, and price fluctuations are expected to be normal. In addition, regular income through wage labour, agriculture and livestock product sales and remittances will continue to contribute to availability of and access to food, the report said.

Published: 29-01-2015 07:53

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