Water hyacinths affect fishing community

- SHIVA SHARMA, KASKI

Sep 26, 2014-

Concluding that excessive growth of water hyacinth in the Phewa Lake in Pokhara is putting their traditional occupation of fishing at risk, the Jalari community has launched a campaign of sorts to clean the lake.

Gyan Bahadur Jalari, former chairman of Harpan Phewa Fishing Cooperatives, said that their traditional occupation of fishing is at risk due to lack of efforts to conserve the lake.        

“So we started conserving the lake on our own,” he said, adding that all people from the community including women and children gather to clear water hyacinths, also known as jal kumbhi, from the lake two times a month. He said those found defying the rule are fined Rs 600. The community also cleans the lake occasionally.

Gyan Bahadur said that they cleaned the lake four times this month alone, adding that they removed 10 truck load of weeds during a day-long cleaning campaign recently.

People belonging to the community said that they are finding it hard to grow fish in the lake due to the excessive growth of the water plants. Around 90 families from the community depend on fishing alone for survival.

“The fish population of the lake will diminish within a few years if it is not conserved at the earliest,” said Santa Bahadur Jalari, adding that their livelihood is at risk.

 He said that the government should come up with a new strategy to conserve the beautiful Phewa lake, which is also a national treasure. Rampant growth of water hyacinths has degraded the beauty of the lake and has also put it at risk, lately. Although various organisations have come up time and again to clear water hyacinths, but the effort is yet to yield positive results. 

Published: 27-09-2014 10:06

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