These conservation ponds have helped enhance underground water reserves, creating adequate water supply in the area.
These conservation ponds have helped enhance underground water reserves, creating an adequate water supply in the area. Pratap Bista/TKP
The Province 3 government’s initiative to build conservation ponds by adopting the rainwater harvesting method is showing results. Dried up wells and tube wells are gradually filling up, providing a respite to the local settlements and wildlife, say forest officials. In the fiscal year 2018/19, the province government constructed 15 conservation ponds in Marin Rural Municipality and Sunkoshi, Ghyanglekh, Hariharpurgadhi and Kamalamai municipalities in Sindhuli district; six in Ramechhap; three in Dolakha; eight in Sindhupalchok; 15 in Kavre; two in Makwanpur and 32 in Chitwan.
These conservation ponds have helped enhance underground water reserves, creating adequate water supply in the area. “The conservation ponds have helped restore greenery in the area. They have also made it easy for the locals to access water sources,” said Lokraj Nepal, chief at the Division Forest Office in Sindhuli.
Four months ago, four conservation ponds were constructed in Marin Rural Municipality at the cost of Rs 1 million. “Water from rivers is being collected through pipes in Marin. Since the construction of these ponds, wildlife, who would earlier enter human settlements in search of water, have stopped doing so, thereby decreasing the instances of human-wildlife conflict,” said Nepal. The province has also built ponds in ward number 2 of Banepa Municipality and in ward number 11 of Dhulikhel Municipality, according to Nawaraj Pudasaini, an officer at the Province 3 Ministry of Forest and Environment.
Deforestation and over-exploitation of Chure hills have led to drying up of natural water resources in Province 3. This has not only affected human settlements but has also affected wildlife in the Chure forest areas. “We took this initiative to tackle these problems, which if not taken care of now will have a long-term impact on the ecology of the region,” said Pudasaini. “Within a few months of the ponds’ construction, positive effects on the environment have become visible,” said Badri Bahadur Karki, chief at the Division Forest Office in Kavre. “Water sources have ‘recharged’, and wild animals have also benefited by the easy availability of water in the forest areas.”
Shiva Kumar Wagle, secretary of the ministry, said conservation ponds would also be built in some wetland areas of the province. “In the last fiscal year, we constructed more than 80 conservation ponds in eight districts. We plan to build ponds in some wetlands too,” said Wagle. According to the ministry, Rs 52 million was invested for the construction of conservation ponds and conservation of wetland areas in Province 3.
Source:The Kathmandu Post August 29, 2019