Flies, mosquitoes seen in Lo Manthang for the 'first time'
September 9, 2019 08:05 AM NPT
By: Dhana Basnet
People walking on a street in Lo Manthang in this recent photo. Photo: Republica
LO-MANTHANG, Sept 9: Flies and mosquitoes were alien to the highlands of upper Mustang until some time ago. These days, the sighting of the insects has become quite common in the settlements of Lo Manthang, which lies 3800 meters above the sea level.
Last year, the locals of Jomsom were alarmed when they appeared in the district headquarters for the first time. The shifting of the carriers up the hills has left the people quite shocked.
According to Shree Krishna Neupane, acting chief of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the appearance of flies and mosquitoes suggest something very serious about global warming.
"It is indeed true that the earth's surface is getting warmer. A place situated in such a high altitude, where flies or mosquitoes were never found, are now witnessing the insects," he said. He added that other types of insects that thrive in hot places are also being noticed in Lo Manthang.
"Other insects as well as birds have also been noticed here. For instance, there are nests of doves. Doves were never seen here before," he stated. "Why is all this happening is yet to be studied but by looking at the weather pattern we can say it has to do with climate change," he added.
He stated that some types of pests have also been bothering the crops of Lo Manthang of late. And the locals have not been able to identify the species.
"New kinds of bushes are also appearing here," he added.
The serene beauty and rustic lifestyle of Lo Manthang was undistrubed when it was not connected to the road network. The natural landscape was unexplored and unexploited.
With road connectivity and growing human activities, the settlements received different kinds of diseases, according to Ram Bahadur Gurung, a health personal at Lo Manthang Health Post.
"New types of health issues have started bothering the people. Skin disease and urine infection are getting common here," he said.
He believes that increasing instances of rain is the reason behind all kinds of diseases seen among the people in Lo Manthang, apart from growing mobility of people.
"Lo-manthang is now hit by both rains and unregulated mobility of people," he noted. "Rains have become more frequent here in the last two to three years."
Earlier, few people used to visit Lo Manthang due to lack of roads. With the transportation facilities getting better, it has become one of the most preferred destinations for both domestic and international tourists.
Gurung laments that the health post is not capable of diagnosing new kinds of health problems seen among the people. There are limitations due to the lack of skilled health professionals and equipment. "What we interpret is a guess. For proper diagnosis, we need far better set up," he said.
He further added that the growing number of flies and mosquitoes has become a huge threat to the locals' health. "And we don't have enough medicines either, even for normal medical cases," he said.