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Engage us on policies that impact us: Farmers of Madhes
Farmers from Dhanusha district expressed their vulnerabilities caused by the adverse impact of climate change on their lives and livelihood.
About 10 farmers, men and women from Machijhitkaiyaand Thadhijhijha near Janakpur, who participated in the two Radio Roundtables organized by Panos South Asia, voiced their concerns in the presence of government officials from Dhanusha and capital Kathmandu.
The Radio Roundtable, one held in Janakpur on November 17, 2014 and the second on December 9, 2014 in Kathmandu, was conducted in partnership with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Ujyaalo FM Network. The Radio Roundtables were part of the project supported by IWMI, ‘Connecting Farmers’ Voices in Madhes on Climate Change Polices and Discourses’.
The goal was to promote a platform for discussion between the farmers of Dhanusha – who are facing the brunt of climate change but are cut off from national-level policies to tackle the problem – and officials from the relevant government agencies, District Administration Office, Women’s Development Officer, Planning Officer at Agriculture Department, Planning Officer from District Development Committee from Dhanusha and officials from the Department of Irrigation (DoI), Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP).
The interaction began with a short film which was an amalgamation of video films shot by the farmers, after a training provided by IWMI. The topics in individual films ranged from challenges related to agriculture, irrigation, women’s status, labour migration (mostly male members to Gulf countries) and its impact on family, education, dowry, and roads, among others.
The interaction was vigorous and both sides heard each other’s concerns and discussed ways to lessen the impact of climate change on the life of farmers and how best to accommodate their voices in policy making endeavours.
Ujyaalo FM Network recorded the discussions and later aired an edited version of the Radio Roundtable in the janakpur region and Kathmandu. IWMI also made a film of the entire discussions as well of workshops that it conducted with help of Nepal Madhes Foundation and Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies. The film was aired on Kantipur TV.