Dhangadhi, February 1

A cold wave that has been persistent for over a week has impacted lives of people living in Kailali and Kanchanpur.

People in these districts are unable to carry on with their routine lives due to extreme cold while human mobility too has thinned due to the weather phenomenon.

The temperature ranging from 8-15 degrees Celsius has especially had a severe impact on little children and the elderly. Respiratory illnesses including cold and even pneumonia are being seen in individuals belonging to these age groups.

According to Dr Hem Raj Pandey of Seti Zonal Hospital, the number of patients suffering from cold-related ailments has gone up drastically in the past few days. Dr Pandey stressed that as such weather affects health of not just the vulnerable groups but also the adults, people should avoid staying out in the cold unless they have absolutely necessary reasons to do so. "People should have more liquid and dress warmly while the elderly and little children should be taken care of," the doctor advised.

The economic impact of the cold weather are seen more in free-Kamaiya and squatters' settlements in the districts.

Those that make their livelihoods by engaging in daily-labour activities and by pulling rickshaws are facing the brunt of chilly weather in that their means of earning wages to make ends meet on an everyday basis have been hampered, Risni Chaudhary from the squatters settlement in Dhangadhi-12 informed.

Meanwhile, with the dip in mercury, vegetable farming too has been affected. "Tomato farming has particularly been affected," said local farmer Satish Rana from Dhangadhi-2.

According to the Mayor of Dhagadhi Sub-metropolitan City Nrip Bahadur Wod, some wards have distributed warm clothes to the elderly. "Over a thousand people have received blankets in wards 4, 10 and 16," he said.

In the meantime, these two districts, that have not seen the sun for a week, wait for the weather to get back to normal.