Drought-hit farmers perform puja for rain

Panchthar, July 5

Drought-hit farmers of Kummayak Rural Municipality, Panchthar, conducted a puja on the banks of the Tamor River today, hoping that the ritual would bring rainfall.

Desperate for rain, around 100 farmers of the rural municipality led by its Chairperson Jaya Bahadur Chemjong and Vice-chair Sita Acharya held a procession to the Tamor River, where they performed a puja.

“As advised by the locals, we held a symbolic marriage of frogs, hoping the ritual would bring forth rain,” said the rural municipality chairperson. He added that the area had not received rainfall since the month of April and crops had started wilting in the fields.

Drought has also hit Tumbewa Rural Municipality as water sources in the rural municipality have gone dry and locals are reeling under acute water crisis. “People are bearing the burnt of worsening water crisis due to the prolonged drought,” said Tumbewa Rural Municipality  Chairperson Hom Thapa, adding that the rural municipality was managing drinking water for the locals by ferrying water in tractors.

Tumbewa has a total population of 13,500 people in 2,900 households. And as water crisis has been a constant problem, some families have already migrated to other places while others are preparing to follow suit. A recent statistics showed that some 40 to 50 families have been migrating elsewhere from Tumbewa, every year.

Kummayak Rural Municipality has also been reeling under water crisis. As per a report, some 450 persons migrated from the rural municipality last year alone owing to water crisis in the rural municipality. Though the rural municipality managed a deep boring system, it is said to have proved ineffective and unreliable.