Less winter rain: local people notice the effect of climate change in Gorkha
Participants of the “climate change and community based adaptation training” in Gorkha district have concluded that changes in climatic cycle has affected people’s daily life. They reached to such conclusion through review of local seasonal calendar and historic time-line analysis. People are noticing the effect in their daily life according to stakeholders. Local residents have reported absence of winter rain for the last few years.
Most of the participants have reported an increase in warm days and a decrease in cold days, in addition to changes in the rain pattern. Presenting the group’ participatory vulnerability and capacity assessement as part of their training on integrating climate change into local development planning under MCCRMD, Social Mobilizer Santoshi Lamichhane from the Namjung Village Development Committee (VDC) said there used to be winter rain from January to March. However, local people are praying for winter rain for a few years. Further, the duration of rainy days is decreasing whereas unexpectedly heavy rain is increasing.
Mr. Judha Bilash Bhandari, ex-chairperson of the Paluntaar VDC (now Municipality) sharing group decision reported impact on maize and ghaiyadhaan (dry-land paddy-a type of paddy grown during dry period in dry land). “Locally used to plant maize in first week of March and harvest in July/August, however, now a days, maize is planted till April/May and still ready for harvest by July/August.” added, Mr. Bhandari. “Local people are experiencing a problem in ghaiyadhaan plantation because of uncertainty in climatic condition.” says Mr. Bhandari.
Due to draught most of the water sources have dried up. Furthermore, there is an increase in forest fires in many areas of the district. Landslides are common during rainy season. Similarly, river bank erosion and damage to development infrastructures are increasing due to flooding and heavy rain. Such changes in climatic condition and incidences of heavy rain and landslides have directly affected the livelihood of local people. An increase in forest fires and encroaching grass such as crofton weed is also noted.
According to Mr. Basudev Paudel, Technical Assistant, District Agriculture Development Office, orange production in the district is decreasing because of new diseases and unfavourable climate. Further, insects has affected maize production in the northern area of Gorkha. Farmers from Swara, Laprak, Gumdi have reported a problem of caterpillars in the field. On the other hand, some areas have witnessed favourable weather for new fruits such as mango, banana, litchi. Litchi in particular is growing in Chyagli, Gaikhur, Deurali, Mirkot and Paluntaar area.
Participants conducted field exercises in Dandidanda and Paslang of Gorkha Municipality as part of the training course. They have prepared a sample plan with support of local people.
Speaking at the closing of the training, National Project Manager Mr. Raju Babu Pudasaini said that one of the objectives of the training is to mainstream climate change risk in periodic plans at local level. Motivating the participants, he said Gorkha district will demonstrate good example of climate-friendly development and become a model district.
The training was organized by the Ministry of Population and Environment and coordinated by District Development Committee Gorkha.
During March and April 2016, in addition to Gorkha four more trainings were organized in Syangja, Parsa, Makwanpur and Banke. These training were organized by the Ministry of Population and Environment with technical support from the Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management in Development. A team of Samuhik Abhiyan, National Association of Village Development Committees in Nepal (NAVIN), Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists led by Rupantaran has facilitatated these training programs. Seven remaining training programs in Manang, Kanchanpur, Darchula, Baitadi, Bajhang, Lamjung and Mustang will be conducted in May-June.