Humla District is located in Karnali Zone of the Mid-Western Development Region of Nepal. The adjacent boundary to this district are Mugu and Tibetian region of China in the East, Bajhang and Tibetan region of China in the West, Mugu and Bajura in the South and Tibetian region of China in the North. Topographically, Humla district entails 290 35' North to 300 57' North latitude and from 810 10' East to 820 10' East longitude. Geopolitically, most of the area falls in high Himalayan and high Mountain range. The district has 27 VDCs, 9 Ilakas and 1 constituency areas. The district has total area of 5,655 square km,
Map of Nepal indicating Humla District
The total area of the district is 5,655 sq km which covers 5% of the total land of the country. The lowest elevation point is 4000 feet and the highest elevation point is 24,064 feet from mean sea level. Elevation of District Headquarter Simikot is 15000 ft. Karnali, Chuwa, Gulfagad, Gothi, Hildum, Kawadi and Hepka are main rivers flowing in district.
The temperature varies from - 100 C to - 280 C (minimum) and 100 C to 250 C (maximum) respectively. Similarly, the average annual rainfall is 25.4 mm to 146.9 mm. Manasarobar and Kailashkut in Tibet is the main attraction for tourism which is reachable by foot.
According to the National Census 2011, the total population of the district is 50,858 comprising 25,025 female (49.21 %) and 25,833 male (50.79 %). Total household is 9,479 and average family size is 5.8. Humla has an average population density of around 7.2 people per square km. The district has a multi ethnic castes with Chhetri/Thakuri (29.80%), Brahman (26.34%), Lama (13.75%), Dalit (12.86), Byasi (10.47%), and other castes (6.75%). Similarly, according to religion: 78.2 % of the total population are Hindus, 20.2% are Buddhist and 1.6% are of other religions. Nepali Humli Khash language and Lama Kham/Bhote language are the two major languages spoken for daily communication.
The economy of the district is highly dependent on agricultural production and on trade such as export of medicinal herbs and import of household materials like rice, wheat, dal, salt, sugar, oil and also other kitchen utensils. More than 88% of the people are involved in agriculture yet only 25% households have sufficient food from their own agriculture land. Out of 565,500 ha land, only 5,020 ha is suitable for agriculture in the district. Maize, Millet, Jau, Buckwheat and wheat are major crops grown in the district. Apart from this; Paddy, Uwa and Chino are also grown. No commercial vegetable farming is practiced till date in the district. However, people are attracted in kitchen gardening which supports the daily requirement to some extent. Fruit farming is popular in the district. Most of the agriculture land of the district is monsoon irrigated. Similarly, rearing of domestic animals like yak, buffalo, Jhuma, Jhopa, sheep, goat, pig, chicken, duck and pigeon are the supporting income generating activities for the people. The unemployment among the youths is still a big issue in Humla.
Life expectancy is 53 years, with many children dying from lack of proper healthcare, unsafe water, and chronic malnutrition. The literacy rate is about 45.37 % (8.87 % female and 36.5 % male are literate).
Tourism is an important business which can uplift the economic growth and contributes more than 8% to the national economy. The district has intense potential for the development of tourism industry. Beautiful Himalayas and availability of hiking routes can attract internal and foreign tourists as the tourism destination. Some of the famous tourism destinations are: Mansarobar, Kailashkut Parbat, transit to Bajhang, Bajura, Mugu and Tibet autonomous region of China. Major existing and potential tourist areas are located in Muchu, Limi, Khagalgau, Thehe, Dandaphaya, Simkot, Bargau, Kharpunath, Saya, Gothi, Jair, Melchham, Maila, Madana and Shreenagar which are famous for nature lovers and analysts because of the availability of various resources.
The district is rich in hydropower resource due to the presence of four major hydro powers; Hildum hp (500kw), Yangar hp (50 kW), Talchhadi hp (50kw), Talki hp (50kw) and Kukurfalna hp (50kw) respectively. The Karnali River flows nearly at the central part of the district. Presence of other small rivers, streams and rivulets in the district can also contribute in the hydropower development. Most of the potential areas for hydropower development are Muchu, Simkot, Bargau, Kharpunath, Lali, Shreemastha, Khagalgau, Dandaphaya, Saya, Jair, Melchham, Darma, Maila, Shreenagar and Madana.
Humla is second inaccessible district of the country, there is no access to District Headquarters except Hilsa-Simkot Road (40 km) and Limi-Lapcha Road (58 km) constructed from China Boarder with motor able fair weather. The Government strategy is currently focusing on two major feeder roads viz. Hilsa-Simkot and Kawadi -Sallisalla -Simkot.