Nepal: Indigenous locals demand that development projects respect their rights
For the past month, local communities such as the indigenous people of the Sindhuli District have been obstructing the works of the Khimti-Dhalkebar 220KV electricity transmission line project. It is the highest-capacity line in Nepal that is funded by the World Bank and is working in collaboration with Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
While the project is aimed at developing Nepal’s hydropower potential in an environmentally and socially sustainable way and bringing electricity to rural areas, it has been criticised for neglecting the rights of local indigenous people. Indigenous representatives claim that the project was started without consultation and without assessing the potential health, environmental, social, religious, and cultural impacts on the communities.
It is not that Nepali indigenous people oppose development projects in general, assure the Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous People (LAHURNIP) - they simply demand that such projects abide by national and international legal and policy frameworks.
Photo (top): Local communities stage a protest against Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line project in Sindhuli. Credit: Milan Limbu
Photo (in text): Hyolmo community stages a protest at Helambu VDC in Kharchyung VDC. Credit: Tasi Hyolmo
Contact the author:
Dev Kumar Sunuwar
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