February 9, Manang. It should rain in winter this year. But it hasn’t rained. Since there is no rain in the mountains and plains, there is no snowfall in the Himalayan region. There was not enough snowfall in the Himalayan region this year.
Now it can be seen that the direct effect of climate change is falling in the Himalayan region. Due to snowfall in the Himalayas, at the time when snow should be visible, only black stones are visible. This is the time when the dust here should be covered with snow. However, this year the weather here was unfavourable, although there was a possibility of snowfall, but it did not snow.
The mountains are turning black due to lack of snowfall in Manang. After no snowfall, there will be shortage of irrigation in the agriculture sector here. There is an increase in production here when there is enough snow. Farmers say that when it rains in the lower areas of Manang and there is heavy snowfall in the higher areas, the production here flourishes.
There was no snowfall in Manang district of the Himalayas this time. It rained unseasonally this year. But there was no snowfall during the snowfall. Manang had received snowfall in the third week of October last year. It’s not the time for snow.
Snowfall is usually expected from late December. However, due to the problem of living during snowfall, the local residents go to Bansi in the last week of October and the first week of November to escape the cold and snowfall. They go to Kathmandu, Pokhara, Benseeshahr and other places. To avoid the cold, the people of Manang may have covered themselves with blankets, but this time there was no snow during the snowfall.
Farmers are worried due to no snowfall
Even though winter crops are irrigated by snowfall, timely snowfall is critical for farmers because irrigation is scarce and late snowfall reduces the production of cereal crops.
The main crops here are potatoes and carrots. There should be snowfall in January in these crops sown in Chait, Baisakh. That’s when the soil is wet’, says Yangdung Gurung, a 74-year-old livestock farmer from Pisang Nsiyang Rural Municipality-1. ‘When the ground warms, it snows and the snow water can’t reach the ground and dries up. Above. If there is no moisture, it will affect the crops.
They say that when there should have been snowfall, it did not happen, so this year the crop will not be good. According to him, apple production is affected the most due to lack of timely snowfall. Apple blossoms in February and March. Due to the snowfall in January, the roots of the apple could not be irrigated, this time there was no snowfall at all.
They say that this time there will be no production. ‘There was no snow in the Himalayan region, now there is a shortage of water for the crops, what happened? We didn’t know this until now”, Gurung said.
‘It had been snowing frequently since November. Now half of the month of January has passed. However, there is no snow”, said Thuten Lama of Nason Rural Municipality-5, “There are only a few clouds in the sky. Still no sign of snow.’
He said that the temperature has dropped a lot and the weather has turned cold. Kunjo Tenzing Lama, chairman of Narapbhoomi Rural Municipality, said there was no snowfall in the high mountain region. Lama says that although there are occasional splashes of rain, there is no sign of snow.
According to him, Male at an altitude of 4,200 meters and Phu village at an altitude of 4,500 meters are currently empty due to cold, but there has been no snowfall. To avoid all the snow and cold the villagers have already made snow showers. He told that everything went down after voting in the House of Representatives and State Assembly elections on 4th November.
“If there is no snow in time, agricultural production will decline,” Lama said. In the past it was used to manage food and grass for animals and birds due to snowfall. He says that although arrangements have been made this time, there is no snow yet.
Chief District Magistrate Suprabha Dhungna Khanal said that there has been no snowfall in Manang district so far. They say that although there has been light snowfall in Upper Manang, it is not the required amount of snowfall. “There is no snow in Manang yet,” he said.
Even in Talgaon, the lowest settlement area in Manang, which is at an altitude of 1,700 meters, snow fell before this time. Phapar is planted in Manang in May. Wheat, potato and banana are planted towards Chait.
In November, when the snow falls in the month of January, only then the soil reaches moisture and cultivation takes place. If there is no snow now, farming will not be good. Farmers say that after the temperature rises, the snow melts and dries up.
Cold creates problems in building infrastructure
Even if there is no snowfall, the development works come to a standstill when it gets cold here. As the cold weather progresses, the infrastructure construction work in Upper Manang comes to a complete standstill. The Infrastructure Office has informed that the construction work of the physical infrastructure under construction, which was damaged by continuous rains last year, has now been stopped.
Chief of Infrastructure Development Office, Manang, Jai Bisht said that especially in upper Manang, road, bridge, hydroelectric and other development works have come to a standstill. Some construction work is underway in the area of Chame, the headquarters of Naso Rural Municipality. However, development and infrastructure works in Ngisyang and Narpabhumi Rural Municipality have stopped, he said.
Bista said that due to cold, construction work could not be done in Chame, Nason, Narapbhumi and Nagisang rural municipalities of the district. Even if there is no snowfall, it is difficult to build infrastructure on the Upper Manang side because of the cold. Here work is done only for a total of three months in a year.
He said that the construction work of Chame-Bensihar road section, the backbone of Manang, has also been stalled due to bad weather. He said that most of the development works are not being done in Manang.
Budget has been allocated every year under the multi-year plan for the construction of this road section. For the smooth transportation of Manang, the government has been allocating budget for road construction and development.
According to the Infrastructure Office, the embankment for the protection of Talgaon is being constructed after the Disaster Management Department allocated a budget of Rs 2.50 crore.
The road slope work at Timang in Manang at a cost of Rs 22 crore has reached the final stage. It is being said that due to the winter weather, the construction work will be delayed.
Himal black stone
Due to lack of snowfall, the hills of snow have started appearing. The mountains which should have been covered with snow have started melting in the absence of snowfall. Since there is no snowfall this year in the mountains which are stable from January to January, the amount of snow is reducing due to snow melt.
Local residents say that climate change has had a direct impact on the Himalayan region. Due to lack of snowfall, the snow in the mountains has melted. The mountains are getting bare after the snow melts. The timing of snowfall has changed in recent years.
Due to change in weather, there is no snow in November-January and no snow in February-April. Due to lack of snow, mountains like Annapurna 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Chalu Forest, Hemlang, Manaslu, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Thorang Peak have started to look pale.
Lekhnath Gautam, head of the Annapurna Area Conservation Project in Manang, said local residents have begun to feel the effects of climate change in the Himalayas and high mountain regions after the seasonal snowfall stopped and the onset of unseasonal snowfall. According to him, due to lack of timely snowfall, as the amount of snow in the mountains is decreasing, the mountains are starting to look like black mountains and its effect is being seen on the wild flowers as well.
Due to lack of snowfall in the Himalayan districts also, the number of tourists coming to play in the snow has reduced. Due to snowfall in previous years, tourists coming to Manang did not turn up this year. “Before the snow, the mountains used to freeze, after the snowfall, the weather used to be pleasant, now the wind is blowing every day, the mountains have started appearing without snow, if the weather continues to deteriorate like this, it is curious, Binod, President of Tourism Trade Association Manang “There will be no snowfall in winter,” Gurung said.
He said that after snowfall in the first week of December last year, there was a significant influx of tourists to play in the snow. They complain that the tourism business has also been affected due to no snow this year. “There are hordes of tourists to play in the snow, all the hotels are deserted when there is no snowfall, even Nepalese tourists have stopped coming because of the dry winter,” he said. Despite the absence of snowfall, life has been affected by the severe cold.
After the snowfall, the tourist places here became buzzing with tourists. The effect of climate change is visible not only on mountains but also in wild flowers. Laliguran, which blooms in March-May, has been blooming since January this year.
The local people are surprised by the blooming of red roses in the forest. “The weather is changing, the problem of heavy rain and heavy cold is increasing every year, rain and snow are not falling on time, flowers of the forest are blooming out of season,” experts say, adding that this is a direct effect of climate change .