Forth Worth Community Arts Center (http://www.fwcac.com), in association with StoryCycle Inc., is going to organize “Nepal Show 2017”, a three-week exhibition of art, craft and multimedia.   

Nepal is a country with rich tradition of crafts, both secular and religious. Men and women create these crafts like their forefathers have done for centuries. They continue to exhibit a high level of skill passed on from one generation to another. They still use primitive tools and work in very rudimentary settings, yet the results are exquisite. Little is known of these people and the workshops and studios where they create these arts and crafts.

Nepal is undergoing significant development in social, economic and environmental fields and as a result, these crafts are at risk of dying out. Young people who are instrumental in bringing about these changes aspire to the values of the developed nations and they no longer want to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers as crafts practitioners. For this reason, the time to record the life and work of this unique group of people is running out. It is thus important to raise awareness about the work of these people and record them on time.

The exhibition project will be on show at USA  from April 07 - April 30,  2017. We will present the life and work of these people through photographs, written documentation, video and physical objects. The presentation will provide a holistic view of the fine arts and crafts as they are at this point.

 

Art : We have a collection of art items from our Everest Story Camp that was led by artist RK Thapa (http://storycycle.com/everest ). And recently we conducted Dumja Art Camp with young artists that we are showcasing at the show.

 

Craft : We have a collection of crafts with the theme ‘When Heritage falls Artists Rise’  from the team of Crafted in Kathmandu ( http://craftedinkathmandu.com.np ) and a few collection of crafts made at the Early Childhood  Development Center.   

 

Multimedia : We have collected a number of photo and video stories from our StoryCamps and Build Camps. We have selected some pictures and videos from these camps for this show. We will showcase “Stories from Everest and Apa Sherpa” and “Stories from the epicenter and beyond” as the major video stories. We also have a collection of photos by Nabin Baral and Jay Poudel (http://www.storiesofnepal.com).

 

For Appointment : Saurav Dhakal [ Curator of  this show ] saurav@storycycle.com 

StoryCycle based in USA and Nepal (a storytelling platform that encourages people from grassroots to tell their stories and bring change in society) organised a series of events in the USA. We organised “Apa Sherpa and Stories from Everest” in California in February 2015 and “Stories from epicenter and beyond” in Washington DC in October 2015.


 

Fort Worth Community Arts Center

1300 Gendy Street | Fort Worth TX 76107

817.298.3021

gallerymanager@fwcac.org

www.fwcac.org

www.texasartistscoalition.org

 

StoryCycle  

338 Samudayeek Marga, Tinkune, Kathmandu,

Nepal  977985.121.2861

808 Deckett Drive, Euless, Texas 76039

USA 682.521.7475  

http://storycycle.com

storycycle@gmail.com, contact@storycycle.com  

Climate Trek 2017 will be a two-week journey where the trekker will witness first hand experience of climate change in the Khumbu region and observe how communities are being impacted and how they are adapting to these changes. Climate Trek 2016 will have trekkers from all over the world ranging from activist to researchers.

Experienced team from story cycle, Digo Bikas Institute and Climax Adventure will accompany the trekkers. The trekkers will share their stories and observation in different platform provided by the organizing team.  

Travel Plan

Day 1 : Oct 3 - Briefing about the Climate Trek (1450 M)

Day 2:  Oct 4 - Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding (Lukla 2800 M , Phakding 2600 M)

Day 3:  Oct 5 - Phakding to Namche (3400 M)

Day 4 : Oct 6 - Trek to Phungi Thanga (3500 M)

Day 5 : Oct 7 - Trek to Pangboche (3800 M)

Day 6 : Oct 8 - Trek to Dingaboche ( 4300 M)

Day 7 : Oct 9 - Dingboche to Chhukung  (4600 M)

Day 8 : Oct 10 - Trek to  Imja Lake Via Chukhung ( 4800 M)

Day 9 : Oct 11 - Trek to Lobuche Via Dhukla (5000 M)

Day 10 : Oct 12 - Trek to GorakShep to Everest Base Camp (GorakShep5100 M, EBC 5364 M)

Day 11 : Oct 13 - Climb to Kalaphattar and Trek to Pheriche (KalaPhattar 5600 M, Pheriche 4250M)

Day 12 : Oct 14 - Trek to Namche(3440 M)

Day 13 : Oct 15 - Trek to Phakding(2600 M)

Day 14 : Oct 16 - Trek to Lukla(2800M)

Day 15 : Oct 17 -  Fly Back to Kathmandu 

 

COST:

Foreigners:         2600 USD

South Asian:       1600 USD

Nepali:                 90,000 NPR

COST INCLUDES:

Climate Expert team member

 Airport pickup and drop

 Vehicle arrangement for Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Lalitpur

Return flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

Twin Share accommodation, breakfast, Lunch and dinner in 3 star hotel for 3 days in Kathmandu

Twin Share accommodation, breakfast, Lunch and dinner in tourist standard hotel during Everest Climate trek

Experienced tour leader, who was part of eco- Everest expedition and Everest base camp Government of Nepal, Cabinet meeting

Local English Speaking guide

 All entrance fees and national park permits as per itinerary and trekking information management system (TIMS)

 Porters (one porter between two)

 Water on trekking days

  

Our Team 

Climate Trek 2017 will be a two-week journey where the trekker will witness first hand experience of climate change in the Khumbu region and observe how communities are being impacted and how they are adapting to these changes. Climate Trek 2016 will have trekkers from all over the world ranging from activist to researchers.

Experienced team from story cycle, Digo Bikas Institute and Climax Adventure will accompany the trekkers. The trekkers will share their stories and observation in different platform provided by the organizing team.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who should join the Everest Climate Trek 2016

Anyone who is passionate or interested about climate change issues and interested to trek in the Himalayas can join the trek.

If you are interested to have first hand experience on climate change, know more on how are communities in the Khumbu region being impacted and how are communities adapting to climate change, than this is the life time opportunity for you.

During this trip we will meet and interact with local communities, see glacier and glacier lakes, see the majestic view of the Everest and the Himalayan mountain range.

       2. What is not included in the cost

·      Return flight to country of origin to Kathmandu

·      Battery Charge

·      Hot Shower*

·      Personal expenses ( internet, alcohol, cold drinks and water)

·      Phone calls

·      Laundry services

·      Personal insurance

·      Tips to guides and porters

·      Everest mountain flight

3. How difficult is the trek?

Trek to Everest base camp and Imja glacier is ranked 5/5 ( challenging). Everest Climate trek is physically challenging, you need to be fit and train weeks before starting the trek. Our team will share the details on training once you confirm your participation for the trek.

4. Where do I register?

For registration please click on this link : 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJuOGo33m-qr1QfLpb-B0_nGnTBAe7_R_HONResLlzV_IapQ/viewform?usp=sf_link  

5. What does the typical day during ECT will be?

Every day during the trek we will interact with the local communities and visit different places like meteorological station, eco-clubs, renewable energy facilitated center.

6.Who should I contact for further information regarding ECT-2016.

For more information regarding Everest Climate Trek please email at: storycycle@gmail.com 

7.  Does the organizing team have previous experience of organizing similar kind of event. ?

Climax Adventure team have organized and led numerous to Everest region and also lead the Eco- Everest Expedition and Government of Nepal cabinet meeting at Everest Base camp ahead of the Copenhagen climate Conference.

In 2015, Story Cycle, worked with Google and the Apa Sherpa Foundation to  improve the digital map of Khumbu region, collected 360-panoramic images and overlay them with the stories of the Sherpa people as part of a cultural mapping project.

http://www.google.com/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/khumbu/

8. I have made a payment but have to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances, will I refunded?

You need to communicate with the organizing team members and after reviewing the cost organizing will refund the cost except the registration fee.

 

Contact Details :

Nepal 
StoryCycle 
Samudayeek Marga, House No. 338, 
Tinkune, Kathmandu, Nepal. 
Phone: 977-01-5104030
storycycle@gmail.com

 

Ride to SindhuliGadhi  is a 153 KM Cycling journey from kathmandu to sindhuligadhi where will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Sindhuligadhi battle Victory. The event will be of 2 Night and 3 Days .

Day 1: Kathmandu to Khurkot  -  111 Km

Day 2: Khurkot to SindhuliGadhi to SindhuliMadi -  42 Km

Day 3 : SindhuliMadi to Kathmandu

The Project will contribute towards preservation and promotion of the historical heritage fort by collating information, designing it, and disseminating to a wider audience in order to promote tourism to the area the economic status of the locals.

The project will focus its activities towards fulfilling two chief goals: increasing Sindhuligadhi's visibility to the wider audience, and improving visitor experience in Sindhuligadhi.

Take a look at our video of our succesful event "Ride to Sindhuligadhi 2016".

Registration 

Participants : 250 Cycle Ride

Participants Entry :

Male : 3500 /-

Female : 3000/-

Others : 3000/-

International : 135$

Click Here to Register for the event

 

 

 

 


The Cycling event was campaigned to promote sindhuligadhi as a tourist destination as 2016 was declared “ghumfir year”. Sindhuli Fort (Sindhuli Gadhi) commemorates the victory of the Nepali troops over the East Indian Army Led by Kinloch in the year 1770. It was the first defeat for the British troops in South Asia. A victory festival is being held in the Gadhi on November 09, this year.

Cyclists gathered including Puskar Shah at Nepal Tourism Board for Inaguration of Ride to Sindhuligadhi 2016.

 


 

Attractions of Journey to Sindhuli Gadhi:

1. A very pleasant highway ride with a great diversity of terrains to be watched throughout the way (views ranging from the Himalayas to inner Terai)

2. A great view from the ‘gadhi’ itself. The gadhi boasts a view of the snow-peaks in the north and Terai in the south.

3.Pleasant homestay, where one can enjoy traditional food and hospitality together with greater sharing about the history of the events that took place around 250 years ago.

4. It is a campaign that facilitates travel to beautiful exotic locations those are usually overlooked.  

Contact Details :

StoryCycle 

Samudayeek Marga, House No. 338, 
Tinkune, Kathmandu, Nepal. 
Phone: 977-01-5104030
storycycle@gmail.com 

StoryCycle, the lead this event with Nepal Tourism Board, Sindhuligadhi Protection Committee, interested travel and tour associations and operators, Sindhuli District Development Committee, locals living around the Sindhuligadhi area, and any other groups interested and willing to commit for the collaboration in the common cause. 

 

महावीर पुन संग सम्वनधीत बिभिन्न सामाग्रीहरु संकलन गरिएकाे छ । यि सामाग्रीहरु स्राेत खुलाएर पून प्रयाेग गर्न सकिने छ ।  

फाेटाे बादल/ ज्ञवाली स्टाेरी साइकल 

स्केच रविन्द्र मानन्धर 

Ms. Laxmi Giri can be considered as one of the happiest farmers at her village due to her knack to bring changes into her life in general and family in particular. Her neighbour says, she has a magic at her hands mainly to grow/produce various off season vegetables at her farmland. Just with a small patch of land, it is remarkable to see her making fortunes, winning laurels and becoming an inspiration for other group members at her village. She is one of many farmers in Pragatisheel Mahila Krisak Samuha (Progressive Women Farmer Group) of Badalkot-1 Baratu, a village in the Kalikot district, who has made a sound return from off-season vegetable production.

Ms. Giri proudly shows her 2.15 ha small farm full of vegetables (tomato, potato, cauliflower, chillies and radish). She explained the story of how a small patch of land became a way of better living for four member’s family. She adds “The maize, wheat and barley could hardly feed my family for two-three months,” and her husband was compelled to work as a wage labourer for many years just to make ends meet.

 

Laxmi and her husband, both are poorly literate. They hardly can read and write and living under extreme poverty in such circumstances had pushed laxmi into the verge of misery. She was doing vegetable farming for household consumption along with other crops such as maize, wheat and barley. She adopted vegetable farming as a business once the group- Pragatisheel Mahila Krisak Samuha she involved receive support under High Value Agriculture Programme (HVAP). Then, she started participating in various trainings as vegetable production, pest and disease management including marketing that changed her from subsistence to commercial. She says, “I have received improved seeds (off season-Tomato, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Chillies and Bitter Gourd) and financial supports through the group”. She adds, she earned NRs.35,080 by selling vegetables during the year. My family’s happiness knew no bound during that time. The earnings gave new inspiration to my family and it has even encouraged my husband to pursue it further. The next year observed sharp increase in my income to NRs 55,800 only from vegetable production. It offered me more motivation to engage in vegetable farming. Since then, I have never looked back in life because it makes me feel like I found my happiness in my vegetable garden. I continued to raise my production levels 610 kg to 1700 kg per season and generate more earnings, helping me to educate my children. Most importantly, I have renovated my house which increased our social status. Now, it looks new, strong and quite beautiful life. The off season vegetable farming business has now become a main source of income of ours. “Me and my husband truly enjoy working together in the farm, she reveals”.

Most similar with the story of Laxmi Giri, there are other 36 progressive women farmers involved on commercial vegetable production with the support of HVAP where they earn from NRs. 40,000 to 1,000,00 in a season.

As she believes, with support comes success and success brings happiness and prosperity. These remarkable successes from the Baratu, Kalokot prove that when women are economically and socially empowered, they can become a potent force for change poverty reduction. However, they cannot do it alone. What they need is inspiration that comes as a way of investment and support for agricultural and rural development, creating favorable conditions for the rural people to move out of subsistence farming toward commercial marketplace. In context of HVAP’s Inclusive Business Approach, two things have become increasingly evident; the first is that farming at any scale is a business, and smallholders and producers must be treated as entrepreneurs. The second is that promotion of women friendly farming practices can endorse growth and opportunities for livelihood promotion, thereby reducing poverty, food insecurity, vulnerability and inequality in rural areas. When these links are in place, wonderful things begin to happen.

While analysing the district wise context in Nepal, Jumla is one of the remote mountainous district facing massive post-harvest losses especially on Apple. For the livelihood subsistence, apple is the most important crop in terms of area, production and household economy in Jumla. But most production units are small and often located in isolated and inaccessible areas where infrastructure such as roads, irrigation and storage facilities are inadequate or completely lacking. With the present increasing trend in the connectivity (road network) in remote high mountains and inaccessible districts such as Mustang, Jumla and Kalikot, there is a great potential for increasing area and productivity of these fruit crops.

 

Among them, on farm storage of fruits and vegetables (mainly apple) was a major concern in Jumla from value addition prospect. Maintenance of temperature and humidity is a great problem in a mountainous region. In fact, Nepal has been struggling to make radical progress in the field of food preservation (building of cellar store, cold storage, modern collection center,etc;) where R&D in this field has been less. Refrigeration is energy intensive, expensive, not so easy to install and run in remote areas and not always environment friendly. Due to lack of cellar store, substantial amount of apple used to decay after production in Jumla. Market price was not so encouraging.

 

Hence realizing the critical aspect of apple production, High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) planned to established apple cellar store at Jumla district. Considering acute energy crisis, the project design and build an economical, eco-friendly, effective and efficient zero energy cellar (a structure which is designed to keep mainly apple then vegetables and some fruits at a stable, temperature and humidity which will prevent them from rotting) by using renewable source of energy (earth) for the community for preserving their farm products for their future use. Hence, the project established zero energy cellar stores at 3 different groups/cooperates i.e. at Mahila Falful Tarkari Krisak Samuha at Taliom, Omgad, Danfe Kalika Krishi Bahuudesiya Sahakarki at Karthik Swami, and Mahila Krishi Bahuudesiya Sahakari Orthu Patmara in Jumla. These constructed units on these area consist interior wall is actually a double wall. Between the two walls there is a layer of gravel and sand. The perimeter of the roof is lined with water pipes. When the water is turned on, it drips down into the sand, which retains the moisture and brings the temperature inside the building down by just a few degrees.

It’s this small temperature and humidity change that makes a big difference. Amazingly, fruit especially apple stored in Zero-Energy units stays fresh for additional five to six months, allowing farmers to sell it well after the harvest period, garnering more profit.

Zero Energy cold storage units are one major part of an overall apple value chain intervention of the project that has directly benefitted 100 households from 3 particular groups and cooperative in Jumla. Ms. Ramila Bhandari (Picture above), is one of the beneficiary who is a pioneer apple producer and active group member of Kalika Krisi Bahuudesiya Sahakari at Kartik Swami, Jumla. According to her, it was very difficult for them to sell apple in local market in the past. They had a practice of feeding unsold apple to their livestock, offering to neighbour and forceful consumption as a main food item. “We had to wait a whole day to sell one doko (30-40 kg) apple and even if, we find someone to buy though the price used to me very nominal (Rs. 10-15 per kg)” she responded. “Now, the project constructed apple cellar store in our group where majority of us (24 households) store apple. I have stored 1.8 tons apple for 4 months and now I have sold NRs. 120 per kg is which is significantly higher than the seasonal price (normal seasonal price-Nrs. 20-25). It is hard to believe”, as she mentioned.

“This is particular change that we found at the individual household level through establishment of cellar store. In addition to this, we have found remarkable changes on apple orchard management, process of consultation with district and project based technician for technical support and increasing apple farm production,” says Mr. Gopal Prasad Shrestha, HVAP, Agriculture Technician. “In an average, each household has been earning Nrs. 20,000 to Nrs. 25,000 from the apple stored in cellar store”, he further adds.

So while the farmer/producer they can’t go back and reclaim their loss of the past. What we can assure that they can recover their loss in the present with increasing volume of production and with effective use of cellar store which increase their net income in general and build better futures particular.

 

Jajarkot, is one of the highly war faced district from decades long Maoist war in Nepal.  Even within Jajarkot district, People from Jyamire Village Development Committee (VDC) faced all sorts of torture i.e. physical and mental torture from the both sides (Maoist and Government) of people. “Life was miserable and they were kept like a prisoners within their own home. Police and army used to come and go torturing till the last breath and Maoist used to come and go looting everything” ;  says, Man Bahadur Rana. Now, they do not have single second to think about those terrible moment as they keep doing busy to cultivate vegetables.

Mr. Man Bahadur Rana was the first to initiate production of vegetable as a commercial basis in Jyamire VDC where approx. 18 households residing. I became like an idiot and people considered me as if I have lost my mind when I first converted my paddy and maize fields into vegetable area. People made fun at me saying that conversion of productive land for paddy and maize is my stupid idea and my initiation to produce vegetable will be effortless” utters, Man Bahadur. Now, the time has changed and with the run of time, community people exposed with ground reality. People learned from him to be the commercial vegetable producers. Approx. all the households of Jyamire being involved in commercial production of seasonal and off season vegetable.  “Now, almost all the households earning NRs. 50-60 thousands by selling vegetables in one season” says, Ms.Bhabita Rana. “We have been gaining far better income from vegetable production comparing to our efforts and investments that we used to do for maize and paddy production” says, Ms. Rana cheerfully. “We could hardly be sustained from the production of paddy and maize. Now, we have handful of cash that even can be saved while sufficiently spending for schooling kids, buying cloths, purchasing meat and food items” further elaborate, Ms. Rana

It even did not take a year to recover them from the trauma. As a saying like “Good Intention Always Needs a Little Push” High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) came up as a push factor into their life to bring a progressive change. In the year 2014, the project provided small grant (Post Production Fund-PPF) with of amount of NRs. 2,90,000 for commercial vegetable production. They have shown such a remarkable changes on production and improve livelihoods from such small support. Further commercialization and collective production and marketing, the project provided value chain fund of NRs. 7 Lakh 46 Thousand.

Now, each individual houses increased their land of production from 2-5 ropani where each individual houses earning 50-60 thousands in one season. Increased income from the not only increased their income but also improved their food culture. As an example, the initiator- Mr. Man Bahadur Rana and rest of the people used to eat rice and breads with salt and chillies. Now, the fresh vegetable can been seen cooking during lunch and dinner. Mr. Rana has been producing vegetables in 5 ropani land from which he is earning more than 3 Lakh in a year. With this income, he added 14 ropani land in potential area of Khalanda-Rimna road corridor. 

Marketing of vegetables is major constraints in Jyamire due to difficulty of road connection. Currently, they are selling vegetables in closest market at Rimna on their own. Selling individually while carrying in a Doko is a time consuming, says Rana. Hence, the entire group of people struggling to connect their village with road and increasing vegetable production land so the regional traders at Surkhet could come and proceed for bulk trading in their locality.

Goat as a small ruminants is highly potential for smallholder farmers in terms of raising income and uplifting livelihoods. The presented case study entails the story of Ms. Kalpana Devi Bayak-39, a mother of 4 children from Turmakhad VDC-9, Achham district. The region itself belongs to resource poor area and geographically isolated from all the means of development where the story of Kalpana Devi is much more awful.

Raring of small ruminants and cattle farming is not new for Kalpana Devi and other community people. At the beginning, she had 5-7 goats which can be counted as main source of income. Income from the goats was not sufficient and she had to look for other labour work to feed her kids.

Her story on the commercial goat farming starts when Thulo Community Forest User Group (TCFUG) approached to High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) on Goat Value Chain Sub-Project with the close coordination and facilitation of WAC Nepal two years ago. Journey of her involvement on various social development activities has begun then after.

She got support for goat shed management, vaccination and involvement on Business Literacy Class that groomed her to be a successful goat entrepreneurs.  She had 15 goats when she thought she would be doing goat farming as a business. Now, she has more than 50 goats from which she has been earning handful amounts of money. Only this year, she earned approx. NRs. 200,000.00 (in words: Two Lakh) from goats and still she has got 35 goats left at her sheds.  From these days, she does not have to look for buyers anymore because she found market at her own shed as the traders from various places such as Surkhet, Nepalgunj and even from Pokhara her goat farm. She says, she can earn more than 2 lakhs per year from the goats. Currently, goat market is getting bigger and bigger, it even supply to Kathmandu from her places. “Life became much easier”, as she said. To manage basis needs and necessity such as schooling to her kids, managing family health and buying necessary things became ease for her. Currently, her son is studying in Surkhet and regularly medical check-up her daughter who has health problem since long is being managed from the goat income.

.“Now, she became a means of inspiration at her village. She even encourages others to do similar business so as to improve living condition”, as mentioned by her community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: Devaki Bista

Far West region is renowned for remoteness in Nepal where district can be considered as a showcase of remoteness due to its difficult geographical condition, extreme poverty and isolate from eyes of development. Until few last years, due to lack of irrigation, inputs and technical know-how of commercial vegetable farming, majority of the land used to be cultivated by maize in one season and grazing land for rest of the season.

As said, change comes with development when development organizations were sprouting in Achham and the slow growth of change seen at Badakhola. In the year 2013/2014, when Helvitas- Nepal and District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) Achham, supported 3 water collection ponds then WAC Nepal (LNGO) facilitated Badakhol Farmer Group to approach with High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) to support on commercial vegetable farming. In the same year, HVAP provided PPF fund to group to produce off season vegetables.

 The progressive improvements in farming systems and livelihood mechanism seen at Badakhola through improvement in agriculture infrastructure, enhancing skills/technologies (plastic house, pipe irrigation, preparation of organic manuring, ease access on farming tools, developing marketing mechanism, promoting off season vegetables and technical trainings, etc.) at the subsistence level to successively improved on the existing farming practices. They found changed on their mind-set and did some revolutionary workout such as controlled on haphazard grazing, convereted barren/abandoned land into vegetable pocket areas. From such key factors of progression, it was very urgent and important that another intervention approaches should be in like to shift them from semi-commercial to commercial. Hence, they were able to secure value chain fund (VCF) W2.

The intervention approaches has become very effective since the project areas was largely dominated by smallholder, resource poor and marginalized farmers (12 Dalit, 3 Janajati and 67others – Total 82) who were suffering from less production and low income from their farming practice,  were lacking in   irrigation, transportation, market information, mechanisms, basic inputs (seeds, seedlings, tools) and improved technology  as well.  At the beginning, the 25 group members initiated vegetable farming on 15 ropani land under PPF fund. After conversion into VCF fund, total 51 group members producing various off season vegetable products such as cauli, cabbage, tomato on 62 ropani of land. On the first season, they earned NRs. 11822 selling 15610 kg vegetables. Now, they seems very well organized and well equipped as 10 households improved manuring, 25 households producing organic pesticide as they have constructed 15 plastic house, and 4 spray tank, 25 hajari is in group.

“The successes of VCF fund shift majority of farmers into commercial off season vegetable production that increased food-security at households’ level, facilitated access to finance, increased investments in agriculture, and further strengthened market linkages. Most importantly, the project was also crucial in connecting farmers to microfinance institutions for access to credit, supporting the purchase of irrigation equipment, and reinforcing agricultural best practices”, says Prem Buda, Chairperson of the Group.

सिन्धुली, ९ फागुन – वैशाख १२ को विनासकारी भूकम्पले ग्रामीण क्षेत्रका अधिकांश कच्ची घर भत्किए । घर क्षति भएपछि सरकारी राहतको आशामा १० महिनादेखि त्रिपाल र टेन्टमा बसिरहेका भूकम्पपीडित यतिबेला आफैं घर निर्माणमा जुटेका छन् ।

भूकम्पले ढुंगा र माटोका कमजोर संरचनाका घरमा धेरै क्षति पुगे पनि भत्किएका घर बनाउन सरकारले ठोस कदम नचालेपछि ग्रामीण क्षेत्रमा पुरानै पद्धतिमा घर बनाउन थालिएको हो । भूकम्पबाट क्षतिग्रस्त भौतिक संरचनाको पुनर्निर्माणका लागि सरकारले पुनर्निर्माण प्राधिकरण गठन गरे पनि भूकम्पपीडितको आशाअनुरुप काम अघि नबढ्दा गाउँ–गाउँमा पुरानै शैलीमा ढुंगा र माटोको घर बनाउन थालिएको छ ।

“सरकारले घर बनाउन सहयोग गर्छ र भूकम्प प्रतिरोधी प्रविधिबाट घर बनाउँला भनेको, त्रिपालमै जिन्दगी जाला जस्तो भो ! जाडो त जसोतसो झेलियो तर अब बर्खा यसरी कटाउन सकिन्न,” भुवनेश्वरी–८, मुर्कीबेँसीका गोपाल बयलकोटी भन्छन्, “पुरानै घरका काठपात प्रयोग गरेर घर बनाउन थालेको छु ।”

भूकम्प गएको एक वर्ष बित्न लाग्दा पनि पुनर्निर्माण अघि नबढेकाले सरकारले दिने भनेको २ लाख राहतको आस उनीहरूलाई छैन । “गोठमा गाईबस्तुसँग बस्न नसकिने रहेछ,” बासेश्वर–३, बलेनीका ध्रुव आछामीले भने, “२ लाख कुर्नुभन्दा आफैंले गाउँघरकै सीप प्रयोग गरी भत्केकै घरका काठपात प्रयोग गरेर हल्का घर निर्माण गर्न लागेको छु ।” सरकारको बाटो हेरिरहे त २–४ वर्ष त्रिपालमा बस्नुपर्ला जस्तो लाग्न थालेको आछामीले बताए ।

बयलकोटी र आछामी उदाहरण पात्र मात्र हुन् । जिल्लाका अधिकांश भूकम्पपीडित आफैं इन्जिनियर बनेर आफ्नै नक्सामा घर बनाउन थालेका छन् । भूकम्पले क्षति पुर्याएका भौतिक संरचना पुरानै शैलीमा बनाउँदा फेरि आइपर्नक्ने विपत्तिमा जनधनको क्षति पुग्नेतर्फ कसैको ध्यान जान नसकेको जिल्लास्थित सरोकारवाला बताउँछन् ।

भूकम्पपीडितले आफ्नै तरिकाले बनाएका घर भूकम्प प्रतिरोधी छन् कि छैन् भनेर कसरी नाप्ने ? सबैको प्रश्न छ । परम्परागत रूपमा घर बनाउने सीप भएका सिकर्मी र डकर्मीलाई यतिबेला गाउँमा भ्याइनभ्याइ भएको बेला सरकारको भूकम्प प्रतिरोधी घर बनाउने योजना विफल हुने धेरैको बुझाइ छ ।

ग्रामीण भेगमा पुगेन नक्सा
घर पुनर्निर्माणमा सरकारले २ लाख सहयोग गर्ने कुरा सुनेका भूकम्पपीडितलाई भूकम्प प्रतिरोधी घरका नक्सा वितरण गर्ने, प्राविधिककै रेखदेखमा घर निर्माण गर्नुपर्ने र सरकारले १७ वटा भूकम्प प्रतिरोधी घरहरूका नक्सा जिल्ला–जिल्लामा पठाएको थाहा छैन । ग्रामीण क्षेत्रका अधिकांशले घर पुनर्निर्माण गर्दा सरकारले लागू गरेको मापदण्ड पालना भएमात्र २ लाख रुपैयाँ किस्ताबन्दीमा पाइने पनि थाहा पाएका छैनन् ।

नक्सा र २ लाख वितरणबारे यथार्थ जानकारी नदिँदा भूकम्पपीडितमा निराशा छाएको छ । रानीचुरीकी लोककुमारी रायलाई सरकारले ल्याएको १७ वटा घरको नमुना नक्साबारे कुनै जानकारी छैन । “गाउँमा नक्सा आइपुगेको छैन,” उनले भनिन्, “प्राविधिक आउने हल्लामात्र सुनेकी छु ।”

कमलामाई नगरपालिका–१, कुडुँलेका सितारामप्रसाद देवकोटाले त नगरपालिका कार्यालय आउँदासमेत नक्सा हेर्न पाएनन् । नगरपालिकामा नक्सा हेर्न माग्दा ‘गाउँमै आउँछ’ भनेर उनलाई फर्काइदिए । विकट बस्ती र ग्रामीण क्षेत्रका मात्र होइन, पुनर्निर्माणमा सरकारले दिने भनेको आर्थिक राहतको अन्योलले सदरमुकाममा रहेको नगरपालिकामा समेत घर निर्माण गर्न नक्सा कसैले लिएका छैनन् । नगरपरिषद्ले नगरपालिका क्षेत्रमा भूकम्पपीडितले मापदण्डअनुसारका आवास निर्माण गर्नुपर्ने नीति कडाइसाथ लागू गर्न जोड दिने निर्णय गरे पनि खासै प्रभावकारी हुन सकेको छैन ।

सरकारले भनेजस्तो घर २ लाखले बन्दैन : भूकम्पपीडित
सरकारले दिने भनेको २ लाख रुपैयाँले घर बनाउन नसकिने भूकम्पपीडित बताउँछन् । कमलामाई नगरपालिका–५ का लालबहादुर बुढाथोकीले भूकम्पले पूर्णरूपमा ध्वस्त बनाएको घर भत्काउनमात्र १ लाखभन्दा बढी लाग्ने बताए । “आफ्नै तरिकाले घर बनाउन त २ लाखभन्दा बढी लाग्छ,” उनले भने, “सरकारले भनेअनुसार बनाउन त कम्तीमा १० लाख लाग्ला ।” उनको १०–११ जनाको परिवार छ ।

वडा नं. ५ कै मुना तामाङ पनि सरकारले दिने भनेको २ लाखले घर बनाउन नपुग्ने बताउँछिन् । “नपुग पैसा थप्न पनि जायजेथा नभएका हामीजस्तो गरिबले सकिँदैन, अनि कसरी सरकारले भनेजस्तो घर बनाउन सकिन्छ, त्यति पैसामा ?” उल्टै उनले प्रश्न गरिन् । नक्सा देखेका भीमेश्वर–८, बाराहाका डुनीराज नेपालीले पनि २ लाखमा सरकारले भनेजस्तो घर बनाउन नसकिने बताए ।

स्थानीय सीपको आवश्यकता
सिन्धुलीका भूकम्पपीडितलाई सरकारले ल्याएको नक्साअनुसारको घर बनाउनेभन्दा पनि स्थानीय स्रोत र साधनको प्रयोग गरी कसरी बलियो घर बनाउने भन्ने सीप आवश्यक छ । सिमेन्ट, बालुवाभन्दा पनि आफ्नै गाउँघरका ढुंगा, माटो, पुराना काठ र भत्किएका घरका सामग्री प्रयोग गरेर गुणस्तरीय घर बनाउन सीप आवश्यक रहेको पुरानो झागाँझोली गाविसका पूर्णबहादुर बसेल बताउँछन् । “सक्नेले त सरकारले तयार गरेको नक्साअनुसार र भनेजस्तो घर बनाउलान् तर हामीजस्तो नसक्नेले कसरी बनाउनू ?” उनले भने, “हामीलाई अरूभन्दा पनि सस्तो र राम्रो घर बनाउन सक्ने सीप दियो भने आफैं घर बनाउँछौं ।” २ लाखभन्दा सीप सिकाइदिए गरिबले पनि राम्रो घर बनाउन सक्ने उनको भनाइ छ ।

धेरै भूकम्पपीडित छुट्ने सम्भावना
भूकम्पपीडितको घर हेर्न र २ लाख किस्ताका लागि सिफारिस गर्न गाउँ–गाउँ पुगेका इन्जिनियरले ल्याएको तथ्यांकलाई अन्तिम तथ्यांक भनिरहँदा जिल्लाका धेरै भूकम्पपीडित छुट्ने सम्भावना पनि छ । दिउँसो कोही पढ्न जाने त कोही काम गर्न बाहिर जाने हुँदाले छुट्नसक्ने देखिएको हो । दुईजना मात्र परिवार रहेका भुवनेश्वरीका शम्भु श्रेष्ठलाई २ लाख पैसा नआउने हो कि भन्ने चिन्ता छ । “कतिखेर इन्जिनियर आउने हुन्, त्यसबेला आफू घरमा भइन्छ कि भइन्न,” उनले भने, “इन्जिनियरले सिफारिस नगरे २ लाख नपाइएला, सधैं घर बसिरहँदा पनि काम हुँदैन ।” इन्जिनियर गाउँ आउनुभन्दा १–२ दिनअघि नै जानकारी दिनुपर्ने आग्रह अधिकांश पीडितको छ ।

नक्सा गाउँ–गाउँ पुगिसक्यो : भवन निर्माण कार्यालय
भूकम्पपछि मात्र जिल्लामा कार्यालय स्थापना गरेको सहरी विकास तथा भवन निर्माण कार्यालयले पुनर्निर्माणमा आएका संघ–संस्थालाई सरकारबाट लागू गरिएका १७ वटा नक्सा वितरण गरिएको जनाएको छ । धेरै गाविसमा इन्जिनियर पनि खटाइसकेको कार्यालय प्रमुख अच्युतमप्रसाद खतिवडाले जानकारी दिए । इन्जिनियर गाउँ–गाउँमा पुग्ने उनले बताए ।

“नक्साअनुसार १ या २ तले घर निर्माण गर्न सकिन्छ,” उनले भने, “ढुंगा–माटो, ढुंगा–सिमेन्ट, इँटा–माटो र इँटा–सिमेन्टको घर तयार गर्न सकिन्छ ।” स्थानीय स्रोत र साधनलाई प्रयोग गरेर पनि घर बनाउन सकिने उनले जनाए । “तर नक्सा अनिवार्य फलो गर्नुपर्छ,” खतिवडाले भने ।

भवन निर्माणसम्बन्धी आचारसंहिताअनुसार ठ्याक्कै नभए पनि त्यस्तैखाले घर बनाउनुपर्ने उनको भनाइ छ । “घर बनाउँदा अनिवार्य नक्सा स्वीकृति लिनुपर्ने र तालिम प्राप्त सिकर्मी, डकर्मी लगाउनुपर्ने हुन्छ,” उनी भन्छन् । प्राविधिकले २ लाख रुपैयाँको किस्ता सिफारिस गर्ने हुँदा प्राविधिक टोलीले नहेरीकन घर नबनाउन खतिवडाले भूकम्पपीडितलाई आग्रह गरे ।

जिल्लामा भूकम्प प्रतिरोधी घर निर्माणका लागि नेपाल रेडक्रस सोसाइटी र सबल परियोजनाले दक्ष निर्माणकर्मी उत्पादनका लागि विभिन्न संघ–संस्थामार्फत तालिम सञ्चालन गरिरहेका छन् ।

नक्सा पास अनिवार्य
सरकारले साउनदेखि घर निर्माण गर्दा गाविसमा पनि अनिवार्य नक्सा पास गर्नुपर्ने व्यवस्था गरेको छ । अहिलेसम्म नगरपालिकाभित्र मात्र नक्सा पास अनिवार्य थियो । स्थानीय स्वायत्त शासन ऐन तथा नियमावलीलगायत भवन निर्माणसम्बन्धी आचारसंहितामा पनि गाविसमा घर निर्माण गर्दा नक्सा पास गर्नुपर्ने व्यवस्था भएको कार्यालयले जनाएको छ ।

आफूखुसी निर्माण गर्दा घर कच्चा हुने भएकाले नक्सा अनिवार्य गरिएको प्रमुख खतिवडाले बताए । “नेपाल भूकम्पीय उच्च जोखिममा रहेको र कुनै पनि बेला भूकम्प जानसक्नेप्रति सजग रहँदै सरकारले यस्तो व्यवस्था गर्न लागेको हो,” उनले भने ।

प्रकाशित मिति: फेब्रुअरी २१, २०१६
लेखक: चिना थापा
कारोबारबाट साभार गरिएको ।
​http://np.karobardaily.com/2016/02/76691/

 

 

 

Seeks recovery of Rs 27.1 million

As tens of thousands of people in Kathmandu spent their nights under makeshift shelters put together with tarpaulins and plastic sheeting in the weeks after the April 25 earthquake, a handful of government officials were engaged in serious irregularities, according to investigations carried out by the  Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). 

The anti-graft body has so far brought charges of corruption against half a dozen civil servants and eight tarpaulin suppliers at the Special Court in two separate cases concerning the procurement of relief materials. The CIAA has sought to recover a combined amount of Rs 27.1 million from the accused.

Those charged include three officials of the Ministry of Urban Development who have been accused of setting up middlemen and working in cahoots with tarpaulin  suppliers. They failed to make direct purchases from the main producers and suppliers, according to the charge sheet.

The investigation has also  found that relief materials procured by the accused officials were of low quality, but they submitted bills for exorbitant amounts, claiming that the tarpaulins were of high quality. The cost of the materials was inflated by up to three times. The bill presented was for Rs 12 per square feet although the unit cost to the main supplier was only Rs 4, the CIAA said. 

The officials bought a total of 27,678 tarpaulins worth about Rs 50 million and distributed these till May 2. They then purchased about 250,000 tarpaulins worth Rs 640 million through a procurement panel formed by Narayan Khadka, a former minister for urban development (MoUD). 

Though the tarpaulins were procured in a hurry through a special decision of the cabinet on April 26, the procurement bills were prepared only on May 2, the day when the special procurement ended and a more formal procurement process was initiated by the panel. 

The storekeeper and three other officials at MoUD had prepared a detailed record of the quality, size, quantity and unit price of the tarpaulins along with a receipt. Five suppliers including Hamsram Pandeya of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry have also been charged.

The CIAA has seized all the procurement documents for investigation purposes. 

The CIAA has also filed a case at the Special Court against three civil servants, including Local Development Officer of Kathmandu Tirtharaj Bhattarai, for paying bills that included customs tax although this latter had been waived. The loss to the state coffers was to the tune of Rs 3.5 million. Three other suppliers--Mithileshwor Tiwari of New Pashupati Trade and Suppliers, Jhamka Prasad Gautam of Dipesh Enterprises and Hom Prasad Gautam of Sebika Enterprises-- are also charged. 

In a press release issued after the case filing, the CIAA said, “Civil servants were found shamelessly involved in raking in money instead of serving the  earthquake victims.” 
CIAA Spokesperson Krishna Hari Pushkar said the civil servants were bent on lining their pockets rather than providing relief to quake survivors.
  “There was also delay for weeks in the delivery of relief materials,” added Pushkar. 

Bharat Bahadur Thapa, Nepal chapter president of Transparency International (TI), said such depravity during an emergency period marked a new low in corruption in Nepal. “Some people thought it was OK to siphon off money meant for procuring relief materials,” said Thapa. “This was really unfortunate and it happened mainly because of weak governance and poor monitoring.”    

Former minister Khadka, however, denied any intentional corruption in procurements by the civil servants. “All the procurements could not properly evaluate prices and quality in the time of crisis,” he said, adding that analyzing the real situation will yield a fairer picture and do justice to the civil servants. 

Several relief material procurements in the aftermath of the earthquake are under the CIAA scanner, investigation officials said. But they did not divulge details.

Published Date: 24th Feb, 2016
Written By: Rudra Pangeni
Published In: Republica
http://www.myrepublica.com/feature-article/story/37660/ciaa-files-graft-charges-over-quake-relief-procurements.html