Making Use of Natural Resources
Nepal recently held a three day Water Festival in its capital, Kathmandu, with the objective of creating awareness and promoting knowledge about the sustainability of water use and the need for conservation.
Nepal is currently the second richest country, after Brazil, in terms of water resources with its numerous river basins and fresh water flows. However, the majority of the poverty-stricken nation’s population does not have access to clean drinking water. 42 percent of the Nepalese people live under the poverty line. Realizing that the situation is worsening due to climate change, Direction Nepal, has introduced an initiative to showcase and further technological, social or legal initiatives of water conservation. The program hopes to convince inspired individuals, families, communities, institutions and government agencies to initiate water conservation measures at their respective levels.
Water is a growing existential threat for Nepal, which is one of the few countries in South Asia that is taking measures to prevent this calamity. An estimated 8.6 million cubic meters of water flows every year from the Himalayas to the plains of Nepal. The country’s 3,000 glaciers and 2,000 glacial lakes, along with snow melts, are the country’s only source of fresh water. However, as many as 20 lakes are at the risk of bursting and trends in climate change show that the continuous decrease in snow accumulation and glacial retreat might lead to acute water shortages in the future. Furthermore, most rivers flowing through urban Nepal are highly polluted, thereby making them unfit as resources for clean water.