Barbed Wire Fencing for Forest Conservation
Sita Ram Community Forest is located in Attriya Municipality Ward no-9 Bala (Previously Beladevipur VDC). There are 168 households. It consists 1236 total population where total number of female is 572 and male is 664 .This CFUG includes 10 households of Dalit and 100 household of Indigenous (Rana and Chaudhary) Sita Ram Community Forest’s total area is 193.08 hector. There are Saal, Asna, Haldu as major species. This CFUG’s registration number to DFO is 172 and handed over date in 2062/063.
At Bujhiya part of Sitaram Community forest, there was problem of open pasture, land encroachment, theft of grass, firewood and timber. Users who are living there tied their cattle on the side of this part. As a result, new growing plants and grass were being destroyed. “Users are living surrounding this part of community forest. They used to tie their cattle beside this jungle. We tried to stop this trend but we couldn’t do anything”, said Vice-president Sitaram Rana. Due to this trend, there often occurred disputes between users and members of executive committee members. There was no good relationship among users and neighboring community. Some of the users had encroached CFUG area for their personal benefit. It had spoilt social harmony of the community. Sometimes disputants did not participate in the mass meeting of CFUG and other meetings of community for social development. Sometimes they even threatened to the executive committee members and users.
As BASE has been implementing IRMI project for last two years with this community, and has implemented series of interventions for empowerment and awareness raising through training, meetings, educations sessions, capacity building, FM program airing and regular mentoring. This made them aware on importance of forest and management of future generations and this also made them realized. Jagannath Rana, Bhalmansa , said, ” Open pasture for long time led the forest degradation so we got motivated for fencing and talked to the community people and came to conclusion for barbed wire fencing.” After that they planned for barbed wire fencing project. They developed proposal and submit to Mercy Corps through BASE. The project was planned for the amount of NRs.98,000 in total. From the project NRs.48000.00 was supported and community contributed NRs 50,000.00 of which there was NRs.5000.00 cash and NRs 45,000.00 labor and materials contribution by community people. They made consultation with Area Forest Office for approval of wooden polls. After the approval of Area Forest Office community people cut down 250 pieces polls on August 20 and 21, 2015. They bought 370 KG wires for fencing. They installed 250 polls on sites on Oct 1 & 2, 2015. After installation of polls they completed the fencing wires on polls on Oct 16 & 17 2015. Thus they did 600 meters barbed wire fencing. The 600 meters has not surrounded the whole area of the forest. They will cover this remaining part in second phase.
After fencing, users who are dwelling aside of this fencing has stopped keeping their cattle outside of community forest and have started to preserve newly barbed fencing. Vice-president Sitaram Rana said, “Open pasture has been controlled now and naturally germinated new plants are growing.” The work has brought positive impact upon the users to preserve. Laxam Chand one of the users who was against of partial fencing realized and said, “This fencing is supporting forest to be preserved. It is necessary to extend on remaining part of forest area”.
As a result users who were tying their cattle on the side of forest are a lso joining hands to control open pasture and conserve forest. This positive changing attitude of users is making easy to preserve community forest. This progress has also inspired to District Forest Office and Network FECOFUN in Kailali district.