Okhaldhunga is one of the 75 districts of Nepal. It is located in Sagarmatha zone on North-East part of Nepal. Okhaldhunga District consists of 56 Village Development Committes (VDC). It has Dudh koshi river, Khotang on its east, Likhu, Ramechhap on the west, Solukhumbu on the north and Sunkoshi, Udhayapur and Sindhuli on the South. The total area is 1075 sq. k.m. The district has 390 m. (Jortighat, Thakle) to 33627 m. (Lamje danda, Patle) high land from the sea level. The district head quarter is Okhahdhunga which is in the height of 1849 m. form the sea level.
VIN’s Project site of Okhaldhunga (Taluwa VDC, Bhadaure VDC and Thulachhap VDC) is on South-East part from the district headquarters, Okhaldhunga. The total area of this district is 415 sq. Km. From Kathmandu, the short bus route is about 250 km which is rough and takes one day and the longer one is about 480 km and takes two days to reach to the project site. To visit the project site, there is access of road transportation as well as air. Rumjatar is the only airport in Okhaldhunga district which is connected with Kathmandu and Biratnagar Airport. The scheduled plane are only once in a week to Rumjatar.
Climate of Okhaldhunga is similar to that of Kathmandu. The Latitude of 27.3166667 / 27° 19′ 6.0E-4″ and Longitude of 86.5 / 86° 30′ 0.0″and it has an elevation of 1561 meters above sea level. It is in the hilly part of Nepal and tourists are attracted towards the beauty of Okhaldhunga Rafting. Okhaldhunga is rich in natural beauties and religious places like waterfalls, famous monasteries and religious temples.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal, the Total population of Okhaldhunga is 147,984. Since VIN’s project sites are only in three VDC; Taluwa, Bhadaure and Thulachhap. Following table describes in brief about the number of population in all of the three VDC’s
|Total Household||Male||Female||Children||Total Population|
** Baseline Survey, 2012
Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) has planned to work in Talauwa, Bhadaure and Thula Chhap VDC. Taluwa VDC covers around 18.88 square hector area. It has total population of 2206 with 1008 female and 1199 male. Bhadure has 20.16 squares hector area and the total population of 3030 with 1439 male and 1531 female. Similarly, Thula Chhap covers about 12.07 square hector area. It has toal population of 3482 with 1659 male and 1825 female. Bhadure and Thula Chhap have around 10% dalits (so called low cast) and 40% Janajaatis and Indigenous Communities. Taluwa has considerably higher number of Dalits.
Those villages are mainly occupied by the socially marginalized and economically deprived communities. Considerable numbers of people are illiterate. Almost 90% of the people are involved in Agriculture but they cannot earn enough for their livelihood. Women have miserable condition. They lack skills to earn money and they cannot enjoy their full rights. Though, people are involved in Agriculture they lack technical knowledge.
Okhaldhunga is one of the backward districts of Nepal. It has limited developmental activities and facilities. Unlike Kathmandu, Okhaldhunga has numbers of illiterate people. Okhaldhunga lacks proper education facility. Due to Lack of education facilities, young people move from Okhaldhunga to cities like Kathmandu or fly abroad to secure proper education. There are schools but they don’t have standard education due to which they face comparative disadvantage in their academic and professional career. The existing education standard of Okhaldhunga not good and compatible.
Similarly, the health and medical care in Okhaldhunga is also weak. There is one sub-health post in every VDC of Okhaldhunga but only one hospital in Okhaldhunga district. Therefore, the people in Okhaldhunga take the sick patient to witch doctors or Baidhya Doctors. So it seems like the people of Okhaldhunga are aware of health issues, medicines and hospitals but they don’t have access to the proper hospitals/ health post. According to the Baseline Survey, 2012, only 11.99% people of Taluwa VDC takes regular medicines, other 88% of people do not take any types of Medicine.
The main source of income in this district is agriculture. Agriculture is one of the main occupations of local people. The main crops produced in this area are: rice, wheat, Corn, Millet and legumes. The people use only the traditional methods of farming. More than 60% families do not have sufficient food for a year from their production. Very few families produce vegetables which they use only for them not for the commercial purpose.
It is one of the beautiful places of Nepal if Okhaldhunga is viewed with sacred vision. It has numerous sights which are fascinating. Okhaldhunga is also important religiously. VIN has started to work at Okhaldhunga recently. VIN implements integrated approach for community development. VIN has now started programs like Women Empowerment, Children Development, Youth Development, Community Health Programs and Water Sanitation Projects. VIN has set up 11 ECDs in Taluwa and 9 each in Bhadaure & Thulachhap. VIN has placed volunteers European volunteers from Nov, 2013 in different projects. We welcome you to lend your hands and ideas to help us in developing communities like Okhaldhunga.