Butaha residents initiate afforestation drive to control erosionTo expand forest cover, some locals have even donated their land to plant trees.
Around three decades ago, the flooded Man stream swept away scores of houses in Butaha village of Bardiya. Those displaced from the settlement at the eastern side of the stream had moved to the western side and settled there. However, the flow of the river has now turned westward, putting the settlement at direct risk of floods.
To control soil erosion along the riverbanks, the residents of the settlement in Badhaiyatal Rural Municipality have thus taken initiatives to develop a plant nursery into a community forest. The proposed forest is to be named Dorahawa Community Forest.
Shambhu Prasad Chaudhary, a local, said over the years, the stream has been gradually eroding the walls of the river.
“Immediate measures to control soil erosion are necessary, so we have decided to develop the small nursery into a community forest,” he said.
Some of the locals have even donated their land for the villagers to plant trees on.
“I handed over my land, which was near the nursery, to expand the forest. It’s important to have forest cover to save our settlement from flooding and erosion,” said Motiram Tharu, a resident of Butaha.
Nine local residents provided four bighas of land in total for the expansion of the community forest. The forest cover now stands at 10 bighas of land.
In the first phase, the locals have started planting tree saplings in four bighas of land. Lalluram Chaudhary, the coordinator of the Dorahawa Community Forest Implementation Committee, said, “The entire village is participating in the afforestation drive to protect it from erosion.”
Deepa Gautam, deputy chief of the rural municipality, said the local unit has taken initiatives to construct an embankment along the stream to control erosion.