Pokhara, May 29, 2016:Â Locals of Mustang are a worried lot, as they are reeling under acute water crisis due to prolonged spell of drought.
While they are struggling to manage drinking water, they are wary of low production of wheat and apple among other staple crops.
The lack of rain for such a long time is going to severely affect agriculture production, said Jhango Sango Gurung, 69, of Tangbe village of Chusang VDC.
â€œThere has been no rain in Mustang for the last eight-nine months,â€ she said, adding:â€Due to absence of rain, drinking water sources also have started to dry up.â€
A single staple crop is planted in this high altitude Himalayan region in a year. The production of the crop has dwindled due to lack of rainfall.
The upper Mustang area sees a lot of snowfall every year, but this year it has been low, locals say. Upper Mustangâ€™s six VDCs namely Lomanthang, Chonup, Chosera, Surkhang, Charang and Dhami have seen less snowfall than the previous year. A settlement in Samjung at Chosera VDC-9 has moved to another VDC in search of water. Social worker and CPN-UML Mustang Secretary Dev Gurung said the entire settlement had to be relocated after the drinking water source dried up due to low snowfall.
Mustangâ€™s former King Jigme Parwal Bista hasÂ provided the land for relocating the settlement, said Topke Gurung. â€œAroundÂ 10 to 12 years ago Samjung was the main source of water,â€ he said. â€œWith less snowfall, water sources have drying up.â€
As many as 18 households of Samjung village have shifted to Namsung village, which lies at a distance of three hours walk.
The locals who earn a living by grazing mountain goats and cows are now unable to find green pastures for their cattle, said Karma Gurung said.
Rajaram Dhakal, chief of Western Regional Weather Office, Pokhara, blamedÂ the climate change for less snowfall.
â€œManang and Mustang are such places where rainfall has always been low,â€ Dhakal said. â€œBut due to climate change the rainfall has been lower as compared to past years,â€ he added.