Food supply has been suspended for a month in the Himalayan district of Manang after floods and landslides damaged roads. Locals have said that there is a possibility of a food crisis as the Besisahar-Chame road will not be opened immediately. They say that there is a shortage of some daily necessities. However, the local administration has said that there is no shortage of food yet.
Manang has been cut off from the road network since June 30. According to the locals, daily necessities other than rice cannot be bought in the shop. Because of that, it has become more difficult for the workers to work from outside. As the locals keep food in stock at home, the workers who have gone to work are not able to buy consumer goods in the shop. He said that the shop was empty as the businessman could not transport it.
Workers who have gone to work in different villages of the upper region Manang Ngisyang have not been able to buy consumer goods. The locals say that the road network is not running smoothly and it will be more expensive to transport daily necessities by helicopter after paying high fares. “There is no shortage of rice till now. However, salt, oil, gas, pulses, nuts, flour, eggs, and other consumer goods cannot be bought in shops, ‘said Binod Gurung, a leading tourism entrepreneur in Manang. Others also need consumer goods. However, not all consumer goods can be bought here.
He said that there is no problem with excretion as vegetables are produced locally. “People who have come from outside for wages have been affected due to not being able to buy goods in the shops. We are helping them by giving them the goods in the hotel, ‘Gurung said,’ It is more difficult to buy in the shop. The shops are empty. ‘
Gurung estimates that there are about 250 workers in Manang Ngisyang municipality alone. They had gone to Manang from outside the district in search of work. Gurung informed that the hotel operator had provided them the necessary consumables as they could not buy goods at the shop. Workers from Gorkha, Rukum, Dhading, and other outlying districts are currently working on the construction of roads, houses, and monasteries. They have not been able to return home due to a lack of easy road access. According to him, about 60 workers from outlying districts are working in Khangsar alone.
Gurung also informed that the residents of the upper region have started preparing to transport the necessary items by crossing the Thorangla Bhanjyang via Mustang as there is a shortage of daily necessities and transportation through Chame is not possible. According to him, vehicles reach Mustang above Muktinath. He said that after that, he planned to transport consumer goods through mules by crossing the 5416-meter-high Thorangla Bhanjyang.
In two days, food can be transported from Mustang to Tanki Manang by mule. But, we have to see the condition of that road, ‘he said,’ as we have to walk along the tourist footpath, we may have to do maintenance in some places. He said that there is no alternative to Thorangla Bhanjyang for the transportation of consumer goods. He said that the transportation of the Mustang can be done as it is expensive to transport the helicopter.
According to Bhoj Raj Pandey, head of Food Management and Trade Company Limited Gandaki Pradesh, there is a stock of 150 quintals of rice at the Humde depot in Manang and 300 quintals at the district headquarters Chame. According to him, 100 quintals of rice is stuck in Besisahar of Lamjung when the contractor stopped the flood while transporting. ‘Food is only to transport rice. There is no shortage of rice till now. However, there may be a shortage of other consumer goods, ‘Pandey said.’ Since rice alone is not enough, the challenge of procuring other consumer goods may have been added. ‘ According to him, 170 quintals of rice was sold in Manang when 20 percent discount was given before the onset of floods and landslides. In Manang, the quota of 1,200 quintals of rice has been fixed throughout the year. However, only 700 quintals are being consumed there, said Pandey.
According to Manang Chief District Officer Bishnu Lamichhane, the ‘supply chain’ has been lost due to road blockage. So there may have been some problems, he said. ‘There is no shortage of food to sustain life. However, the favorable situation is not certain, ‘he said,’ We are cooperating with food and trade companies to send one thousand quintals of rice and two hundred quintals of pulses. ‘ According to him, the Ministry of Home Affairs is preparing to import 250 quintals of rice through the World Food Program.
“There is no shortage as there is already a tradition of storing food here. However, some items may not be available on time. The shops are empty. So you may not be able to buy the desired item. But no one has to go hungry. ‘ He said that he was relieved even after the floods and landslides. He said that various donors also wanted to provide food assistance but it was not easy as the transportation cost was high.
According to him, immediate transportation from Besisahar-Chame road is not possible. “If there is an emergency, we also transport by helicopter,” he said. “There is no shortage of food right now.” Lamichhane also said that supplying food to the people of the upper region through Mustang is a suitable option.
According to him, an excavator is now submerged in water. The excavator has stopped after entering the Marshyangdi river to open the blocked flow. Similarly, about half a dozen excavators from Chame to Besisaharkhand have been stopped at various places. He said that they were preparing to transport the vehicles by helicopter as there was a shortage of fuel for them. “We will move forward by opening the road as soon as the fuel arrives,” he said. “As soon as the road is opened, the supply will start.” But we can’t say when it will open. ‘
He said that only 25 percent of the 65 km road from Besisahar in Lamjung to Chame in Manang was damaged in the Manang section and fuel and equipment could not be brought by land. He said that the immediate traffic operation was not easy due to the collapse of bridges in some places.