Glacial lakes in Manang disappearing alarmingly


January 17, 2024


Glacial lakes in Manang disappearing alarmingly

Ponkar Lake in Manang/Photo: ICIMOD

MANANG: Many of the glacial lakes in the Manang district are limited to pictures at present, whereas, in reality, they are disappearing alarmingly.

Gangapurna Lake, situated at 3,820 meters above sea level, is one such lake that is turning into a ground rapidly, worrying Kalu Ghale, a local resident of Disyang Rural Municipality-5 in the district.

Recalling the color and the natural look of the glacier stream that flowed by his house in the past, Ghale expressed his concern that many small glacier lakes in the district were either receding or drying up.

Contrary to his thought that the glacier lake could attract tourists, the lake, he said, was turning into a ground.

First brought to the public’s attention by Swiss geologist Dr. Toni Hagen in 1957, the Gangapurna glacier, spanning around nine kilometers in length, has been the basis for studying geological formations and climate change, according to Ghale.

The Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research had already conducted research on the flow of the glacier that is shrinking every year.

One of the researchers of the group, Shalikram Sigdel, warned that there was a threat of the disappearance of glacier lakes due to global warming triggered by climate change, unexpected snow avalanches, and rainfall.

Amidst the risk and fear of losing glacier lakes such as Gangapurna, the Disyang Rural Municipality is moving ahead with a plan to bring Gangapurna Lake to its original form.

Sonam Gurung, Disyang Ward No. 6’s Chairperson, informed that they had allocated over Rs 30 million to revive the receding lake.

She shared, ‘Tenders have been called for this. We are preparing to excavate soil and sand from the lake that is filled with such substances.’

They plan to protect Gangapurna Lake in an area of 21.8 hectares of land by constructing a 3.5 meters high and 193 meters long dam. She assured that visitors would get to see the lake regaining its old glory next year.

Similarly, Phurwa Lama, a campaigner of Visit Manang, opined that the conservation of old glacier lakes should be a top priority, although new glacier lakes were forming lately.