Farmers near Himalayas face heat of extreme weather conditions

After the snowfall season in Lahaul Spiti ended in the early days of March, the snow melted rapidly due to extreme heat, which ended the essential humidity needed for sowing crops.


(Photo: SNS)

April 19, 2022

NEW DELHI – With no sources of irrigation and melting of snow earlier than usual this year, the farmers in the cold desert of Lahaul Spiti are facing the brunt of hot weather conditions as it is becoming tough to carry out farming activities.

Farmers rue that the snowfall season ended in the early days of March and after that, the snow melted rapidly due to extreme heat which ended the essential humidity needed for sowing crops.

At the same time, water even in old sources had dried up and Tandi village of Lahaul which is situated at the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers is already facing a water shortage issue, the sudden change in weather this year has left farmers worrying as to how to deal with the problem.

All the villagers have prepared cabbage seeds for sowing which will have to be planted in a few days and besides, peas have been sown. The farmers are now worried as to how they will be able to plant crops on the dry land without irrigation. In addition, the already sown peas crop may suffer damage owing to prevailing dry and hot weather conditions and without irrigation facilities.

A local resident, Vikram Katoch said Lahaul is a cold desert area due to which farming cannot be done without irrigation and one has to run their livelihood with the harvest of crops in the sowing season.

In such a situation, if there is no irrigation system at the earliest, it may become difficult for the families to run their households.

In such a dire situation, the people of the village collected money at their level and started work on the plan to lift water from the Chandra river and the pit is being dug just below the village. Along with this, the farmers are also arranging for pumps and pipes to take water from the tank to the village.

Till now, no help was received at the administrative level, while the administration was informed about this, he said.

He stated that the government organises big conferences and announcements to deal with the ill effects of climate change at the world, country, and state levels but there is no preparation of the administration at the ground level and in the end, the local people have to struggle at their level.

In such a situation, the local people are of the view that the government should cooperate in dealing with this serious situation and plan for the entire Lahaul and Spiti district to deal with the ill effects of climate change, he added.

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