Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

Nepal is a country of a multitude of different castes and ethnic groups. Many of these experience discrimination and neglect, and are unable to access the resources they need.  

Bhrikuti Community Learning Center (BCLC) is one of UMN’s partners in Rupandehi District. One community where BCLC works lives near a lake, and consists of predominantly poor Indigenous (Tharu) people and a number of Dalit (low caste) families. Apart from a low income level, the community suffers from poor health and sanitation, with no alternative but to drink unsafe water. For more than 10 years, the lake was rented and exploited by a single business man. With the help of UMN, BCLC and the local community have been able to regain ‘ownership’ of the lake and initiate a community-based fishery project benefiting 274 households directly.  This DREAM (Development through REsource Allocation and Management) project unites the community in maintaining the lake and its water level, managing fish nurseries, harvesting fish and selling them to various buyers.

Much work has been done on the lake, and the first young fish have been released. These fingerlings will eventually provide a substantial income to the community, enabling community members to start micro-enterprises and improve the  infrastructure, sanitation and drinking water situation in the village. Nineteen groups have been formed to support members and to address social and health issues. A cooperative will support the fishery programme and the newly started micro-enterprises.

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