Photo: Ravi Chitrakar (left) Deepa Shrestha (right)
Nepal’s image of being the second richest country in water resources after Brazil has been refuted countless times by critics and yet the slogan continues to lure water developers. It ranks number 1 in the election manifesto of all political parties. But the emerging reality on the ground is startling.
I literally got goosebumps when I saw one of the two holes in a local well (pictured above on the right) sealed off and the other one put under lock and key. The well, which is more than 30 years old, is located at the bottom of the hills in Panchkhal Valley. In July 2012, women (seen in the picture on the left) complained about the dwindling water yield even in the middle of the monsoon. Seeing no other options, in May 2013, the villagers had closed one of the holes and locked the other one to save the limited water for essential use only. If this is the state of water at the bottom of the mountains, the ridge area must be bone-dry.
Time for some serious retrospection regarding water resources.