UDAYAPUR, Oct 20: Of late, Udayapur district has been reeling under severe water crisis, which is one of the visible impacts of climate change.
Water resources like ponds and rivers have dried up in many places. According to the locals, water sources in many places dried in the past few years.
Many farmers, especially from Tamlicha VDC, depend on spring water for irrigation purpose.
However, the gradual extinction of springs in many areas has affected them badly. The farmers say they are on the verge of giving up farming in lack of water for irrigation.
“In good old days, we used to have spring water not far away from the village. We used to irrigate our farms from those spring water,” said Mangal Rai of Gamlicha. “But in the last 5/6 years, drought has affected us badly. My family has long quit paddy farming due to the drought.”
According to Maulser Rai, another local, loss of spring water has forced most of the villagers to abandon paddy farming. “All the arable lands are turning barren now. Such is the impact of prolonged dry spell,” she said.
Farmers in the VDC these days only plant maize and millets as they no longer can grow paddy in lack of water, said Krishna Rai, a local farmer. “If the trend continues, the whole hills would turn into desert in a decade or two,” he added.
Likewise, Nar Bahadur Sutar of Khostung, Jante-2, who had been farming paddy in six ropanis of land, said his farms has turned into a barren land for five years now. According to him, the main problem was lack of water for irrigation as springs dried up.
Balamta VDC also shares the same plight. Many places of the VDC, including Limmi, Deurali, Chatang among others also do not have adequate water sources, which has affected farming.
According to experts, rise in deforestation and prolonged droughts are some of the reasons for the water scarcity. They have stressed on tree plantation to avert more crisis.