Tikapur, April 28, 2016:Â Locals of Tikapur Municipality in Kailali district have been reeling under severe drinking water crisis due to prolonged drought.
Underground water levels are declining and many rivers and streams have been drying up.
The water table has receded to such levels that hand pumps are no longer useful. “Even the electric water pumps do not work anymore,” said Kul Bahadur Pun Magar, a
local of Tikapur Municipality-9.
The Department of Water Supply, too, has not been able to supply water to the locals. “We use generator to operate bore wells to draw out underground water. However, it is taking longer to fill our tank, hampering out ability to supply water regularly,” said the department’s in-charge Shyam Thapa.
Padam Bahadur Shahi, a farmer in Tikipur-6, said his vegetable crops wilted in the fields in lack of water, bringing him a loss of about Rs 50,000. “Lack of water destroyed all of my vegetables crops, including cucumber, pumpkin, and gourds,” said Shahi.
Likewise, Binod Kumar Sah, a banana farmer, said his plantations have been affected by the ongoing water crisis. “I haven’t been able to extract water for the past 15 days. There is neither underground water nor rainwater,” he said, adding that he has estimated a 40 percent decline in production of banana.
Apart from Tikapur, water scarcity has hit Narayanpur, Dhansinhapur, Durgauli, Pathariya VDCs and even some settlements along the banks of Karnali River, according to locals. Likewise, places adjoining the East-West Highway, including Lamki Chuha Municipality, Dododhara, Kota Tilsipur, Sadepani, Darakh, Pahalwanpur, Masuriya, Chaumala, along with other VDCs, are also reeling under acute water crisis.
“This is not a new problem. We face the problem of water crisis time and again,” said Ram Prasad Sanjal of Sadepani. “We have no choice but to fetch water from other villages now.”