Nepal Climate Change Knowledge Management Center (NCCKMC) successfully organized the Climate Change Awareness program at Simkot, the headquarters of Nepal's most remote high mountain district Humla in farwest Nepal bordering Tibet of China. Situated at the altitude of 3,000 m asl, Simkot (Nepali Sim= wetland; Kot= offial town) is beautifully located on the lap of the mountain and surrounded by snow mountain range of Api Saipal. The district, however, is connected with rest of the world only by air. On foot it takes nearly a week to reach the nearest road transport. The main economic source of the district is medicinal herbs and some livestock products and product of marginal agriculture lands. The population stands at about forty thousands, with less than 25% literacy rate and lowest HDI in the country.
The NCCKMC team comprising Team Leader Dr Dinesh Bhuju also included Professor Prakash Adhikary, Secretary of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and Mr Bhojraj Adhikary. The team reached Simkot on 13th May, and immediately started consultation with locals and also the office heads in the district headquarters. The locals reported that they're growing semitropical crops and vegetables in recent years such as tomato, maize and millet, which were not possible till some years ago. The snow is less as the rainfall is erratic recently. Whether these were the results of climate change; however, one cannot confirm without scientific studies.
On 13 May, NCCKMC conducted an Interaction Program to discuss on climate change science, its impacts and adaptation measures at the premises of Bal Mandir Secondary School. In the outset of the program, Dr Bhuju gave brief background of climate change and its causes, and focused mainly on anthropogenic source of greenhouse gases. Professor Adhikary said, climate change is taking place, the only option is￼to be aware of it and take adaptation measures. The Chief Guest of the program was Mr Narendra Pariyar, Chief District Officer, and the program was chaired by School Principal Mrs Gajanand Basnet. The office heads of government and nongovernment organizations working in various development activities of the district, teachers and students were present in the program.
On 14th May, Kailash FM, a local community radio station organized a panel discussion on climate change at its prime time. The discussion was conducted by Mr Rajan Raut; Professor Adhikary and Dr Bhuju participated in the program. The FM has coverage in more than half of its village development committees.
The same day (14 May), NCCKMC organized Climate Quiz at the premises of Bal Mandir Secondary School in Simkot. Altogether sixschools participated in the quiz program, some of the participants walked nearly half day to reach the venue. Raling Secondary School bagged first prize, while Bal Mandir Secondary School stood second and Mansarober Secondary School stood third in the competition. Mr Resham Raut conducted the quiz program. CDO Mr Pariyar and other office heads present in the program gave away prizes to the winners. Over 600 students, teachers and local people gathered to listen the quiz and observed the posters.
The Climate Awareness Program in Simkot, Humla was a part of NCCKMC activities supported by Climate and Development Knowledge Newtwork (CDKN). During the program, posters carrying messages in climate change, its science, causes, and other relevant information were also displayed. Later, NCCKMC handed over the posters to Bal Mandir Secondary School, which will keep the poster as resource materials for climate related activities in the district.