A group in the Bajhang district has been formed to protect indigenous fishes. This initiative taken by the local Paani project aims to protect fishes as people started fishing rampantly in the local rivers and ponds through various means like electrofishing, it has been said.
The group has formed five subgroups that have been tasked with attracting fish farmers at eight wards of Talkot Rural Municipality and Jaya Prithivi Municipality.
“There has been an increment in harmful fishing practices following COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the number of local fish is decreasing. The project provides financial assistance to the poor families hit by the infection to do fish farming,” said programme coordinator of the project Shiva Raj Joshi.
The project has been providing financial assistance, fries and fish food, and other equipment used to grow fish to the group.
The four-year (2016-2020), $24.8 million USAID Paani (meaning “water” in Nepali) program enhances Nepal’s ability to manage water resources through climate change adaptation and the conservation of freshwater biodiversity. Focusing primarily at the watershed, basin, and national scales, USAID’s Paani project aims to reduce threats to freshwater biodiversity and increase the ability of targeted human and ecological communities in the Karnali, Mahakali, and Rapti river basins to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through improved water management.
The program will apply an integrated, whole-of-basin perspective to freshwater biodiversity conservation and sustainable water management in the three critical river basins in Mid-West and Far-West Nepal in response to changing climate conditions. Paani is part of USAID’s ongoing investment in strengthening natural resource management in Nepal. It is a sister project to the USAID-funded Nepal Hydropower Development Project (NHDP) and complementary projects funded by the US Forest Service and the International Water Management Institute.
It builds upon USAID’s experience in terrestrial conservation, extending successful community-based models for reducing threats to key species and building resilience from Nepal’s high mountain slopes to the rich waterways in some of the most pristine natural habitats on the planet, the USAID Paani programme fact-sheet states.