Environment conservation project restores ancient ponds in RamechhapThe project plans to restore 50 ponds in various wards of Manthali Municipality and Ramechhap Municipality within two years.
An ancient pond in Chhatrebar of Babiyakharka, Ramechhap, which was almost buried for lack of maintenance, was recently restored at the cost of around Rs 400,000 provided by a social organisation.
“Our forefathers used to dig ponds in public land to get drinking water for livestock,” said Shankar Ghimire, a local of Babiyakharka. “Many people do not rear animals now, and even if they do, they don’t rely on ponds for water.”
According to Ghimire, the pond serves as a water source for stray and wild animals. “The pond supports the growth of plants and vegetation nearby and maintains ecological balance,” Ghimire said.
However, Ghimire said that there are many other ponds in the district that need restoration.
The environment conservation project, with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has been restoring neglected ponds in various parts of the district. The project plans to restore 50 ponds in various wards of Manthali Municipality and Ramechhap Municipality within two years.
“We have revived and conserved 21 ponds so far. We will continue our restoration drive with the other ponds as well,” said Madhab Dhakal, the environment officer of the project. “The local people should also contribute to the ponds’ restoration and conservation.”
One of the ponds that have been revived is Thulo Pokhari in Sunarpani, Manthali. With the pond’s restoration, the locals—who have long been suffering from water scarcity—are hopeful of getting water for their livestock.
“We are happy with the restoration of the pond in our village. The revival comes at a time when ponds, pati/pauwa (public resting place) and ghat (crematorium) are left neglected,” said Jayaram Karki of Sunsarpani.
The southern part of Ramechhap has been reeling under water scarcity for the past few decades. According to locals, it does not rain enough even during the rainy season, making it difficult for them to plant crops and preserve local forests. The environment conservation project has been working in the area for the past year to preserve the environment. Dhakal claims that the project helped conserve 20 sources of water and a few irrigation projects in the area.