Writing on Water and Sanitation- More Challenging Aspects in Himalayas

Sep 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Ecosystem Functions, Environment, Information and Communication, M-20 CAMPAIGN, Opinion, Rainfall, River, Sanitation, Waste, Water, Youth Speak

Er. Pabitra MukhopadhyayPabitra Mukhopadhyay: The importance of Climate Himalaya’s knowledge banking and outreach building efforts, one expects, should be portrayed in our essays. An appeal for a pan Himalayan co-operation is already expressed by Noreen, which apart from making good sense for Himalayan people shines a hope for redemption of the long troubled relationship of two neighboring countries. We are yet to hear from Bhutan, the only carbon negative country amongst us but no less environmentally threatened, but I hope someone will surely contribute from there in days to come. I welcome our new Youth Speaker from Nepal.

Up till now what all Youth Speakers have agreed and converged on is that grass root participation and community involvement in adaptation/mitigation programmes in the Himalayas is of primary importance. There is no cure pill sold over the counters in Delhi or in United Nations that can reduce the stress on livelihood, health and economics for mountain people. Shalini Dhyani has offered important insight on this aspect.

If I am not wrong, I also see that there is a general agreement that the vulnerability is maximum for the poor, marginalized and women as far as Himalayan issues are concerned. Interestingly all the countries that geo-politically share Hindu Kush Himalayas are either of developing status (arguably except China) or LDCs so economic instruments to cope with Climate Change and Environmental worsening trends need to be innovative and ingenious for the region – no copy paste solution from Europe or US is possible. Such innovation and ingenuity should include growth aspirations of the people at one hand yet not tax the environment with increased carbon footprint at the other. Suman’s post on NMSKCC stresses that.

Considering my previous posts Don’t flush it in Leh and GLOF part I and II, I think I have already somewhat chosen my area of expression here in Climate Himalaya as Water and Sanitation. I personally do not so much like to write of fixed topics, so you can always expect me to delve into troubled water (pun intended) occasionally but it makes fair sense to maintain an underlying trend in one’s articles in a varied and multifaceted platform like Climate Himalaya for two practical reasons:

a)      Each Youth Speaker can then choose a topical area of his/her own with least chance of stepping on toes with each other. I see that Shalini Dhyani is focusing on Forest and Agriculture, Noreen Haider on trans-boundary rivers (with a Himalayan connection), Anamika Barua on Mountain Developmental Economics, Suman K on Policy and Governance.  I may be a little presumptuous to see these trends but it is somewhat necessary to remain structured without sacrificing thinker’s freedom.

b)   If we write on different topics we can expect to have a more diverse repository of knowledge which can ultimately disseminate to diverse audience and benefit optimally. It’s only natural that we will speak about issues that come somewhat distilled through our professional training. I am not saying that a professional leaning on our subject choice is a preferred mode of authorship (I love to tread on unchartered territory) but only that it is normal.

I shall keep a course on ‘Water and Sanitation’ in the Himalayas with a specific emphasis on climatic variabilities, global warming and worsening trend of environment in general, with my characteristic intellectual detours.

Featured Photo Credit: Keith Bosak


About Author: Pabitra Mukhopadhyay has written this article for Climate Himalaya ‘s Youth Speak Column. Pabitra is an environment enthusiast and amateur blogger and keen to network with everyone with active interest on issues related to the Himalayas.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Himalaya Initiative’s team.


Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

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2 Comments to “Writing on Water and Sanitation- More Challenging Aspects in Himalayas”

  1. Amrit Banstola says:

    I (youth speaker from Nepal) am focusing on health aspect of climate change.

  2. […] Writing on Water and Sanitation- More Challenging Aspects in Himalayas (chimalaya.org) […]

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