It has just been a week in Kathmandu and I already feel miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I am having a great time with family and friends; all I am complaining about is the extremely hot weather in Kathmandu.
A year back when I was here for the summer the weather was great however, I am greatly amazed to see such a drastic change in the weather here. I feel like I am spending a summer in El Azizia, Libya.
The signs of global warming are here. Where earlier the summer used to be warm and pleasant, it is now a burning inferno. This drastic change in climate has been noticed not only here but, all throughout the world. Global warming, considered a myth few decades back is staring right at our faces with severe seasonal changes. People are now facing the challenge of protecting themselves from this awfully hot weather, which their artificially controlled environment is not a guarantee against.
Due to Kathmandu’s high elevation of 1300 meters, the valley is supposed to remain cooler unlike other locations at the same latitude. In the past, Kathmandu’s summers also saw a great deal of rainfall and was also very humid. Between May to September the city saw most of the rainfall for the entire year, but where is the rain this summer?
The city’s wet summer created the lush, green countryside which surrounded it and helped earn Nepal the name “the Switzerland of Asia” however, this does not hold true any longer. I went for a hike around the Godavari area this past Saturday and what I saw made me speechless. Dry farm lands, lack of water for irrigation and no greenery astonished me. We spoke to few farmers around the area and they told us how they were affected by the climate change. Due to the lack of water the wheat saplings are yet to be transplanted. The transplantation should be done within the first three weeks after it is first planted however; this scarcity of water has ruined it all. The local farmers also expressed that they feel dejected because of the delay in monsoon.
What is the reason behind the sudden climatic change? How can we overcome it? The only answer to this problem is afforestation and more afforestation. We have been clearing forests for our own benefit and haven’t been thinking about the future, if this doesn’t stop soon this might lead us to various environmental problems and health hazards. So, let us promise ourselves that we will recycle, reuse, minimize waste and plant more trees so that the generation that follows has enough resources and a healthy environment to live in.