The former district of Achham, now called Achham District Coordination Committee (DCC) is located in Province No. 7 of the far-western region of Nepal. It borders with Kalikot and Dailekh to the East, Doti to the West, Bajura and Bajhang to the North and Surkhet of Bheri Zone to the South. Topographically, Achham entails 28°46' - 29°23' latitude and 81° 32' - 81°35' longitudes. The Achham has 4 municipalities and 6 rural municipalities.
The total area of Achham is 1,692 sq km. Almost all area of Achham lies on Mid-hill area and few area lies on high hill. The lowest elevation point is 540 meter and the highest elevation point is 3,820 meter from mean sea level. Elevation of Achham Headquarters Mangalsen is 1362 m. Karnali, Budhiganga and Kailash are main rivers flowing in Achham.
As a result of the elevation differences, Achham has four different types of climate: tropical up to 1,200 m where temperature increase more than 300 Celsius, subtropical from 1,200-2,100 m, Temperate above 2,100-3300m and Alpine above 3300m . The annual rainfall is about 1,891 mm and temperatures vary from 5 ºC to 30 ºC. Subsistence agriculture farming, mainly small scale livestock is the main source of occupation and livelihood of the majority of the population, with 61% of the population active in this sector. Due to low level of agricultural production, the majority of the households face acute food shortages for a large part of the year.
Map of Nepal indicating Achham District Coordination Committee (DCC)
According to the National Census 2011, the total population of Achham is 257,477 comprising 137,469 female (53%) and 120,008 male (47%) residing in 48,351 households. Achham has an average population density of around 152 people per square km. The average family size is 5.3. Life expectancy of the people is 58 years. The average literacy rate is about 53.18% (37.18% female and 71.54% male are literate). Achham has a multi ethnic composition with Chhetri, Kami, Brahman, Sarki, Damai, Thakuri, Magar, Sanyashi, Muslim and others. The common language is Nepali (97.4%).
There are numerous roads. From the field study, it has been observed that most of them are in fair weather condition. Most of these roads have been constructed using excavator without proper planning and engineering design.
The study team has found Achham in a relatively better transport situation. Achham has an easy surface transport connection with major market and commercial cities namely Dipayal and Dhangadhi. However, most of the rural roads are in poor condition and need to be improved /upgraded for safe and reliable journey.
Achham has access to the Mahakali Highway (Attariya-Dadeldhura-Darchula). A feeder road, 105 km in length between the Achham headquarters Mangalsen and Doti, Silgadhi is recently upgraded to bituminous standard by DOR. The Mid-Hill highway is under construction and will cross Achham east to west and links with the Karnali Highway which shorten 165 Km travel distance for commuter who wish to travel Kohalpur and east.