A road to nowhere

Thank goodness Ali had a good sleep and her energy levels steadily improved through the day. Lena was at her lowest this morning and seriously struggled for the first hour. We managed however and came to a nice place above the river with a breeze blowing and small waterfall nearby. We stopped there for about two hours to give Lena a good rest and also ate some chapati and cheese. Lena started picking up after this, but only had enough energy to get to the tiny village of Syanje, about three hours short of Chamje our original destination for the day.

As we walked I saw the road building activities on the other side of the river. I had reflected on this since talking to the two brothers at Bahundanda. My view is that this is a road to nowhere. It is being built in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. The problems of deforestation and landslides are clearly evident on our walk so far. With a real likelihood of more snow melt and more intense rainfall events I think landslides will become a far greater issue with climate change. It is very evident that the road that is being built will be severely affected by the combined effects of intense rainfall, deforestation and landslides. I don’t believe the resources will be there to maintain it, maybe not even to successfully complete it. I might be proved wrong, but that is my view. I think it would be far better to put the money being used to build the road into a concerted reafforestation programme.

Road building near Bahundanda, in an area already affected by deforestation and landslides
Road building near Bahundanda, in an area already affected by deforestation and landslides
The tiny village of Syanje perched between a massive rock and the Marsyangdi River
The tiny village of Syanje perched between a massive rock and the Marsyangdi River

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