District Overview

Dolpa lies in Karnali Zone of Nepal. Dunai is the district headquarter. The district, with an area of 7,889 sq. km, is the largest district of Nepal in terms of size. It is divided into 23 VDCs and has no municipalities. Dolpa has 7,488 households with a total population of 36,700 (Male 18,238 & Female 18,462). Although Dolpa covers a large area, due to less population residing in the area, the population density is just 4.65/

Dolpa is inaccessible by road network; Dunai can only be reached by foot or air transportation. Dunai is connected via flights from Nepalgunj and Surkhet.

Economic and Financial Landscape

Agriculture, livestock, cottage industries are the main economic activities of the district. Agriculture forms the major source of income in about 97.25% of the households. Among the small and cottage industries registered, majority work in the service sector, followed by the agriculture and wildlife.

The district is served by three different branches of ‘A’ Class Commercial Banks. The population served per branch is 13,277 against the national average of 8,960 . This indicates the need to further expand the outreach of financial services and facilities to the unbanked population of the area.

GESI Issues

The population of Dolpa is primarily comprised of Chhetris (43.8%), Gurung (22.62%) followed by Magars (13.15%). About 5.05 percent of the population belongs to the ancient ‘Bonpo’ religion. Caste-based discrimination is still prevalent in most of the communities in Dolpa. Although the situation in the district headquarters has been improving, Dalits aren’t yet allowed to share space with the people of other castes and face difficulty in using common wells, taps or other water resources freely.
A key focus of Sakchyam Access to Finance programme would be to focus on value chain financing of commercial animal husbandry that would help to improve the access to financial services and facilities in the area.

Sakchyam’s Ongoing Activities

Outreach Expansion

  • To reach the rural poor, Shikhar Insurance Company has established one branch in the district.


  • WII and Livestock Insurance have been launched by Shikhar Insurance Company in the district