Our work in Mugu, Nepal
Mugu is located in the North-West of Nepal, in the Karnali region. It is extremely mountainous and it can only be accessed by mud tracks and air. Mugu is also home to the beautiful Rara lake, the biggest lake in Nepal. However, it has some of the lowest Human Development Index outcomes in Nepal. It was 67th out 75 Nepali regions in 2011. There are no basic services and this has left the local population vulnerable to a variety of health issues and malnutrition.
PHASE did a detailed baseline survey of 6 VDCs in Mugu in June 2016 – Mugu Baseline Report – June 2016
Where do we work in Mugu?
PHASE works in six Village Development Committees (VCDs) in the North West of Mugu – Hyanglu, Kotdanda, Nathanpur, Photu, Ruga and Dhainakot. Mugu is very difficult to access and infrastructure is severely under-developed. The area is thus highly deprived. 60% of children under 5 have stunted growth and 92% of households suffer from food insecurity. These isolated communities desperately needed aid and PHASE intervened in early 2016, hoping to improve the health, education and livelihoods of the communities sustainably.
In Spring 2016, PHASE launched a new healthcare and nutrition project in the Mugu district. A two-day workshop took place in early 2016, which outlined the aims of the project and actions plans were devised and the local staff trained. On 27th March, PHASE opened it’s Health Project in Ruga, staffed by local health workers. Over the following two weeks, PHASE staff moved from village to village, opening new health centres for the local communities.
Prior to PHASE’s arrival, the poorly equipped and understaffed government health centres were several hours walk away on dirt tracks. With a staggering 43% of women in Mugu unable to identify more than one or two danger signs in new borns for example, it was imperative that PHASE intervened and set up new health clinics. All the health centres have now opened and we are confident that our staff in Mugu will make them a success.
Alongside our healthcare project, PHASE launched an initiative to educate the population about nutrition and provide farmers with the knowledge and expertise to make more nutritious food more generally available, especially for women and children. 21% of the children we surveyed were suffering from malnutrition in Mugu and 50% overall were at risk of malnutrition. The need to address the nutritional deficiencies of children in Mugu was clear.
Therefore PHASE is working with local farmers to improve the nutritional value of their produce. Only 52% of the farmers were aware of improved seeds which produce a higher yield and 65% did not use an irrigation system when PHASE arrived. Over the next few years, PHASE will be working with these farmers to improve their knowledge of things like improved seeds and irrigation and different seasonal crops in order to improve their livelihoods and the nutrition of the local populace.
More on Mugu
Our work in Mugu is funded by the Innocent Foundation, and you can find out more about them on their website: http://www.innocentfoundation.org
Find out more about what we do in Mugu in some of our blogs here: