Lakes dry up in eastern Nepal

This is the Tal Pokhari Maimugha Lake being dried up. 

ILAM, Nepal – Beautiful lakes of Ilam district in eastern Nepal, important in terms of bio-diversity and cultural significance, are drying up in absence of much needed conservation measures.

Out of a total of 42 lakes and ponds located at different places of the district, 11 have already dried up. Only 31 of them have water throughout the year.

A study carried out by District Development Committee Ilam and Ilam Sahayog Parishad showed that 11 lakes and ponds are critically threatened. “They will lose their existence completely unless they are conserved in time,” said Bishnu Kafle of Ilam Sahayog Parishad.

Kafle said that climate change, open pasture land, human activities and encroachment have put these valuable wetland sites under serious threats.

Shown above is the Maipokhario Lake.

In a positive development works have started to conserve seven lakes and ponds of Maimajhuwa Village Development Committee (VDC) with the involvement of the District Development Committee, Ilam Sahayog Parisadh and the local people.

The ponds under conservation are Dadeli Pokhari, Tal Pokhari, Hade Pakhari, Hans Pokhari, Jaljale Pokhari, Phurse Pokhari and Gupha Pokhari. A total of 11 ponds and lakes are located in Maimajhuwa VDC alone.

Lakes and ponds heading towards disappearance include Lam Pokhari, Bhut Pokhari, Ahaldada Pokhari, Ale Pokhari, Siddha Pokhari, Jale Pokhari, Jhyau Pokhari, Hade Pokhari, Purni Pokhari, Malingeni Pokhari and Hans Pokhari.

Gupha Thumki Pokhari, Kane Pokhari and Bhot Pokhari were saved from the brink of disappearance at the local initiative, said Kafle.

The Hans Pokhari of Kalbung VDC has lost its existence despite conservation efforts. The DDC allocated 400,000 rupees for its conservation but the pond dried up. The pond had water when the works started but now it has dried up.

The Mai Pokhari which is enlisted in the World Ramsar Site is also situated in the district. Jhyau Pokari, Antu Pokhari and Tal Pokhari are among large ponds of the district.

However, the DDC said that it will conserve the ponds of the district which are on the verge of disappearance. Local awareness is important to save these wetlands.

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