Province 5 government takes initiatives to conserve wetlandsThe ministry constructed as many as 116 ponds in 12 districts in the last fiscal year.
As many as 116 ponds have been constructed in the province in the first phase of the drive.
“Lakes and ponds in the area are gradually drying up. Hence we started this drive to conserve the existing ponds and dig new ones,” said Lila Giri, the provincial minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment. “Wetland conservation helps to preserve the ecosystem and even control rampant forest fires in the dry season.”
The Province 5 government had allocated Rs 43.6 million in the fiscal year 2018/2019 to conserve wetlands. It constructed 116 ponds in Pyuthan, Rupandehi, Gulmi, Kapilvastu, Rolpa, Palpa, Bardiya, Nawalparasi (West), Banke, Arghakhanchi and Rukum (East). According to the ministry, the newly built ponds have the capacity of storing 5,200 cubic metres of water.
“The division forest office of each district built the ponds in the last fiscal year. The ponds’ construction has had a positive impact on wetland conservation,” said Tukaraj Pandey, an officer at the ministry.
According to Pandey, the ministry, in coordination with the local bodies, local conservation clubs and other organisations, has prepared working guidelines to carry out various conservation programmes. Under the programme, the ministry will develop forests in 10 towns and launch a pro-poor leasehold forest reform programme through 165 consumers’ groups in the current fiscal year. The ministry is also promoting medicinal herb farming in 61 different places in the province.
Various local units in the province have also launched conservation campaigns. Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City has launched a conservation drive with a plan of constructing at least a pond in every community forest of the sub-metropolis.
“Water sources are gradually drying up, so we have initiated a conservation campaign to conserve water sources,” said Mayor Shivaraj Subedi.