River Summit for Watershed Area Conservation
Gandaki Province Minister for Agriculture, Energy and Water Resource Bed Bahadur Gurung said anthropogenic activities have adverse effects on natural resources. In his address to the Narayani River Summit-2023 organized in Gaindakot of Nawalparasi (Bardaghat-Susta East), he called for all stakeholders to engage their coordinated efforts for preservation of water sources highlighting inevitability of water for human life.
Minister Gurung expressed his confidence that the River Summit would help chart out a water resource policy of the province. “The summit takeaways would help develop water resource policy of the province and the entire nation”, he said, adding it would also contribute to come up with ideas to mitigate ongoing conflict between human and nature. Former Minster for Science and Technology Ganesh Saha underlined the urgency of collective efforts for preserving rivers. Director-General of the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Dr Maheswor Dhakal shed light on the importance of water in the landlocked countries like Nepal.
He stressed the need to control over exploitation of rivers including the Narayani, Rapti and Reu as water is the public good. There are limited sources of water in Nepal, he said, underlining the need to create environment for harvesting and recharging rain water. “Conservation of the Chure Hill is inevitable for now as it reserves and recharges water”, he said, adding swater should be maintained clean and pure as rampant wastes affect the entire water cycle. Deputy Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City Chitrasen Adhikari also highlighted policy-level interventions for the management of Narayani River water.
Central chairperson of National Association of Rural Municipalities in Nepal and Hupsekot rural municipality chair Laxmi Devi Pandey demanded a law for best utilization of river-based materials. ISET Nepal Advisor Ajaya Dixit spoke the urgency of coordination among life system, economic system and equity. WWF Nepal Chair Dr Ghanashyam Gurung stressed the urgency of water literacy as life without water cannot be imagined. The Narayani watershed area has covered 468,000 hectares of land of Nawalpur, Chitwan and Makawanpur districts. Public debate on water has increased realizing its importance as the bases of food, livelihood, electricity, agriculture irrigation, tourism and religious events.