Economic overview

Main occupation

  • The occupations of many house owners are determined and constrained by the historical caste-based system of work distribution (e.g. Sunars: goldsmiths, Kamis: blacksmiths).
  • Households dependent on agriculture are engaged in sustenance farming.
  • Villagers dependent on daily wages (masons and skilled masons) have unstable and low income.

Created with Highcharts 6.2.0Main occupationMain occupationDaily wagesAgricultureForeign labourOthers010203040
Daily wages

Note: “The ‘Others’ category includes professions such as tailors, shopkeepers, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, electricians, and porters.” Shift this to below the bar graph. 

Annual household income

  • According to the social survey conducted in 2016 for this project, the average annual household income in Dhungentar is NPR 127,703. The national average annual household expenditure in rural areas is NPR 248,893. 
  • It has been argued that the minimum cost of building an earthquake-resistant house as per the NRA guidelines would be at least NPR 600,000, excluding transportation costs. This highlights the financial difficulty of reconstruction in Dhungentar (where the highest annual income is NPR 300,000/household). 
  • Regarding the NPR 200,000/household grant that was initially set for disaster relief (later increased to NPR 300,000), 85% of Nuwakot locals surveyed by the Asia Foundation replied that the grant would cover less than 25% of the reconstruction costs. 

Created with Highcharts 6.2.0Annual household income (NPR)Main occupation< 50,00050,000 -100,000100,000 -200,000200,000 -300,000>300,000010203040

Land holding by house owner 

  • Fifty-eight households were classified as being located in landslide-prone areas after the earthquake. Land purchase for forced relocation added to reconstruction costs. 
  • Given the marginalized and low economic status of many ethnicities in Dhungentar, 11 households did not own land and were living as tenants. Many plots of land in Dhungentar are owned by upper-caste villagers outside the settlement, and villagers of Dhungentar lease these plots for agriculture. The exclusion from access to and ownership of productive assets, such as land, compounds poverty.

Created with Highcharts 6.2.0Land holding by house ownerNo land: 11No land: 110 - 1 ropani: 340 - 1 ropani: 341 - 2 ropani: 251 - 2 ropani: 252 - 5 ropani: 222 - 5 ropani: 22> 5 ropani: 4> 5 ropani: 4

Note: 1 ropani = 5,476 sq. ft.

Key Points

  • Traditional/daily-wage professions 
  • Low economic status 
  • Minimal land holding 
  • Poor participation of women in income generation (only around 38% of women over 16 years of age earn an income) 


A blacksmith takes a break from work at the blacksmith work shed in Mathillo Dhand
Locals at work in paddy fields in Dhand
Locals engage in agricultural activities in Mathillo Dhand
A local in Karamfedi chips off rocks for use in the reconstruction of his house