January 28, 2021 ktk-belt

Greening the barren land: an update from Kurule-Tenupa

It’s almost Friday, so why not take more opportunity to continue our feature on Kurule-Tenupa:

Kurule Tenupa was once a really vibrant community but after the earthquake in the 1990s about 150 water sources dried up. With the lack of water, the basic ingredient for agriculture, the remaining land became infertile. And mass outmigration followed from this community over the last few decades.

When we first met Lokendra Yakkha ji, the local leader, some 8+ years ago, his worry was not only that there was no water in Kurule for the people but also the birds. “Birds are declining!” he said, “how do we reverse that?”.

Lokendra Yakkha, Dirghaman Tamang, and Bhoj Kumar Kafle, a few years ago with an interest to reverse and solve the crisis, proposed to KTK-BELT to collaborate with us in a joint project. Since then they’ve set up an organization called Tamor Permaculture Learning Grounds like other learning grounds organizations and have been actively stewarding all of the local work.

Binod Sir, Providing training

2 years ago, all three board members, attended a training given by Binod Puri sir in Yangshila on the bio-intensive raised bed, plantation, low input high-yield methods, grafting, cutting, plastic pond, vermicompost etc. With the technical and little financial support from KTK-BELT, they began a feat that no one imagined would be successful except for themselves. During that period, 30 species of fruit and nut plants were planted in Banduke Learning Grounds, two ponds have been dug up and they’ve been implementing all the lessons from/with Binod Sir on their farm.

The once barren land has now become fertile and is now operating as a green organic farm. 100s of people visit the farm regularly amazed at this impossible feat. And they’re also happy to report not only humans but also pangolins, birds, visit the farm, and have made it their home.

They want this plot of land, the Learning Grounds, to really become a space where you can get training for organic farming, kids can learn about outdoor education, young people can also find hope to stay back and to make something in their own village. Binod sir is currently there right now training for 3 days on grafting, pruning, and establishing a nursery.

Grafting training to lacals by Binod Puri

Although it has become the greatest struggle to raise funds for this project, the team has made sure that every penny goes to the project. Yakkha ji often says, “we cannot give you the burden for fundraising all the time. We have to focus and self-sustain. I think then we can call ourselves successful if we can fund this ourselves.”

“And,” ambitiously they said, “we also want to continue greening more plots of land.”

We absolutely think they will be successful in this feat as well and are so thrilled to be collaborating with such an incredible group of individuals who are courageous and focused. Their passion, focus, and resilience despite the hardship have been infectious!

Team photo near the Plastic Pond

Photos: Som Maya Limbu and Abhishek Katuwal