Climate Change has made rainfall more intense and unpredictable across the Himalaya. This causes no end of trouble during the wet summer months. Landslides, big and small, are common during the Monsoon, they block roads and pile up against buildings. Occasionally if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time they can be deadly.
This clip from Greg Davies and Rhod Gilbert's BBC show The World's Most Dangerous Roads series is a good illustration of the problem.
A low cost adaptation is happening in the all the mountain communities we work in. On steep and vulnerable slopes, farmers plant 'Broom' grass. The roots of this fast growing crop bind soils and help stabilise slopes. Simple yet effective. The great thing about this crop is that it is multi-use. As the name suggests, the grass can be turned into a broom. These are sold locally and at markets. The leaves can also be used as fodder for livestock.
Our NGO partners in Deurali HICODEF have been in touch to tell us that farmers were busy harvesting in February. In Dhahaba 550 KGs of the crop has been collected; in nearby Durlunga Baseni farmers have harvested 450 KGs.
After picking, the grass is stored and dried in bundles.
Once dry, the bundles are turned into brooms and made ready for sale. Farmers can expect to earn around 90 Nepali Rupees per KG for their Broom grass and a little bit more if they make them into Brooms themselves.
Almost every household in the mountains has a broom and they keep their houses immaculate.
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