Risky Business: The Bamboo Rafters of Nepal

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The Third Pole, Nepal

For years, people in eastern Nepal have been putting their lives at risk to transport bamboo down to Koshi River and sell near the Indian border because of lack of roads.

Watch the video report below:

The Bamboo Rafters of Nepal from thethirdpole on Vimeo.

Eastern Nepal is well known for its bamboo, but transporting the product from the hilly districts to sell in the southern plains near India is a major challenge because of the lack of roads.

The Koshi –one of Nepal’s largest rivers – flows from Tibet through Nepal and into Bihar in India.  For locals who make their living selling bamboo, this river is the only means of transporting their goods to market. Locals bundle up bamboo with rope into a makeshift raft that they can sit on and sail down the river for many hours.

Every trip is a matter of life and death, as they have to face fierce rapids along the river. For years, locals from the three districts of Bhojpur, Dhankuta and Udayapur  have been putting their lives at risk to transport bamboo.

Map from ICIMOD

(Map from ICIMOD)