Lokesh Verma, a farmer from Nainital’s Chanfi village, says this is the third year in a row that he is bearing losses in agriculture. “I have lost around Rs 2 lakh and there’s a debt of Rs 70,000 to pay off. I grow strawberries, guavas and peas in my 15 bighas of land, but there is not enough water in the hills to irrigate crops properly,” he says.
No sale of packaged drinking water without BIS mark: FSSAI
Despite being endowed with adequate rainfall, most parts of the Himalayas are considered water-stressed for both agricultural and domestic purposes. This is mainly due to the seasonality of precipitation, which is concentrated to the monsoon months. It remains dry for rest of the year.
Throughout history, the Uttarakhand Himalayas have been a source of timber and water to the rest of the nation. However, this has led to severe depletion of resources in the state. Today, the mountain communities find it hard to meet their basic needs of fodder, fuel and water.
Ufrenkhal – the village
Driving towards Ufrenkhal, a village in Pauri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), I see a lush, green mountain covered with deodar, banj and utees trees. Little did I realize that this diverse and dense forest, which is alive with wildlife, is very new. 40 years ago, this vast area was a firing range!
A toilet that loves the environment: A film by the Himalaya Seva Sangh highlighting Uttarakhand's experience with eco-san toiletsposted 8 years 11 months ago
The Himalayas are inhabited by 40 million people, most of whom are dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry. The prevalent water scarcity also means a lack of water for sanitation. In this case, both open defecation and conventional sewerage pose a health risk. Conventional toilets not only consume a lot of water, but the effluent also pollutes groundwater.