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UNDAF District Profile: Achham
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Achham covers a 1,680 km area of the Seti zone in the Far Western Region (FWR). The District Headquarters (DHQ), Mangalsen, is situated at 1,326m above sea level and the
elevation in Achham ranges from 540 to 3,820m. The whole district is hilly. Achham is one of nine districts the Government of Nepal (GoN) has categorised as backward areas due to their remoteness. The district has a better road network than other hilly districts of the FWR; out of its 75 Village Development Committees (VDCs), 36 are connected with roads, though public transporation does not reach all the connected VDCs. Neither of the district’s airports, one located at Sanphe and one at Kamalbazar, have been operational since the conflict. In 2011, Achham’s population numbered 257,477, 54% of whom female. Achham was heavily affected by the armed conflict that had a profound impact on people’s livelihood. A total of 330 people lost their lives in the district, 183 of them from Achham, 419 people were internally displaced, and many were wounded. Much of the district’s critical infrastructure suffered significant damage. After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006, the security situation of Achham improved significantly. Local Peace Committees are formed in 51 of the 75 VDCs in Achham. Achham district comprises 75 VDCs, 13 Ilakas and two constituencies. In mid-May 2013, the total number of registered voters in the district reached 104,398. The District Administration Office is responsible for overall administration and security related issues in the district and also for issuance of citizenship certificates. In 2011, District Police registered 51 crimes in Achham, 14 of them homicides, 17 suicides, 10 public offences and four related to women and children. Achham has a District Court, a District Attorney Office and a District Police Office with a Women and Children’s Services Cell and extended field presence through 18 Police Posts. In Achham, women suffer from gender-based violence and domestic violence, gender-based discrimination in education, in household chores and in nutrition, as well as differential social and cultural norms. Caste based discrimination is widespread in almost all communities in Achham. Dalits form about a quarter of the district’s population and most of them live in poverty. While 71% of men aged five and above are literate in Achham compared to 75% at national level, only
43% of such women in the district can read and write (against 57% across Nepal). The main occupation for the majority of people in Achham is agriculture, which is the main source of household income. The number of migrant workers is especially high in Achham; generally, male family members aged 15 and above practice seasonal migration to India, and the largests number of migrants are from the highly indebted, Dalit and socially excluded groups. Most Dalits earn their living as daily wage labourers, masons or by making traditional products. Achham district has two hospitals (one government and one private), and extensive coverage by subsidiary health care facilities. he most common health problems dealt with in the district are acute respiratory infections, scabies, diarrhoea, gastritis, and uterine prolapse. The life expectancy for both men and women in Achham is 55 years. Achham has very high prevalence of HIV in comparison to other hilly and mountainous districts in the Far Western Region. Achham is among the districts with a high prevalence of stunting, global and moderate acute malnutrition, and anaemia in children under five. Around 33% of Achham’s land is arable. There are 46,363 farming households in total and the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) has organised 5,572 persons in 249 farmers’ groups. The district is prone to natural disasters such as floods, landslides and forest fires.

UNRCHCO ,   (2013 )
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