SRINAGAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Devastating flooding in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand in June, caused in part by the collapse of a glacier-fed lake, has raised worries in other Himalaya regions could be at risk of similar tragedies, experts say.
In southern Kashmir, in particular, a number of glacial lakes in the upper reaches of the famous tourist resort of Pahalgam could be vulnerable to collapse if the region faces extreme rainfall or earthquakes, scientists say.
“The Uttarakhand tragedy has rung alarm bells for the entire Himalayan belt, considering its fragile ecology and environment. Since we are the part of the same fragile Himalayan belt, any extreme meteorological event could create havoc here as well,” Mohammad Sultan, head of the department of geography and regional development at Kashmir University, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
More at: http://www.trust.org/item/20130829092137-f17br
SRINAGAR, India, Aug 16 2013 (IPS) – Zareena Bano has had to skip school 17 times this year to help out on her family’s farm in Tangchekh village in the northern Indian state of Kashmir.
Her teachers say she has the potential to be a brilliant student, but warn that if she keeps missing school she will not go far.
Never before has the 15-year-old had to sacrifice her education in order to support her family, but an acute water crisis in this Himalayan state has made irrigation a constant worry and severely disrupted the way of life for thousands of farming families like her own.
Troubled though they are by the toll the extra labour is taking on their daughter’s schoolwork, Zareena’s parents are in no position to order her to stay away from the fields.
Her father, Gaffar Rathar, says the family is entirely dependent on the yields from his 2.5-acre paddy field and half a dozen walnut trees. Frequent droughts mean a lot of additional hard work for him and his family.
“Sometimes, when water is in extremely short supply, we have to store water in small ponds that we dug ourselves, and plastic containers,” he told IPS.
More at: http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/kashmiri-farmers-unprepared-for-drought/
The government of Jammu and Kashmir has hired an international consultant to quantify the losses suffered by the Himalayan state due to the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan.
More at: http://www.thethirdpole.net/pay-us-for-our-water-kashmir-tells-new-delhi/