Video: Climate migrants in the shadow of Everest

On World Environment Day, a report on villagers in eastern Nepal forced to move as mountain springs dry up in the Himalayas

The hills of eastern Nepal are trapped between snow clad Himalayas and the roaring rivers that cut through deep gorges below. Villages here have faced a severe water crisis in the past few years. Springs are drying up across Nepal and elsewhere in the region. There’s a complex set of reasons behind this: rampant development and poor road construction, encroachment of ponds that used to recharge the springs and changing rainfall patterns due to changing climate all play a part.

As the situation has worsened, people have migrated in search of a more reliable source of water near the riverbanks, in areas that were once paddy fields. The villages of Puranogaun and Nibhare in eastern Nepal’s Khotang district are nearly empty. Most households have migrated down to the banks of the Sapsu and Koshi river, an hour’s drive down the mountain. This film by Ramesh Bhushal and Nabin Baral tells the painful story of the people who had to leave their homes.