|Title||2011 Dec – Deerwalk Hiking from Markhu to Kulekhani|
|Date||4th December, 2011|
|Total Time||3.5 hrs|
|Participants||Saroj Neupane, Deependra Shrestha, Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rupesh Karki, Suman Shrestha, Aawart Adhikari, Ramesh Banjade, LekhNath Bhusal, Basanta Amatya, Manish Man Singh|
|Photos By||Manish Man Singh, Kanchan Raj Pandey, Aawart Adhikari|
|Report By||Manish Man Singh|
|Captions||Manish Man Singh|
|Creative Support||Kanchan Raj Pandey|
Kulekhani is a village development committee in Makwanpur District in the Narayani Zone of southern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 2972 people living in 535 individual households The Kulekhani watershed is located 50 km southwest of Kathmandu and is the source of water for the Kulekhani reservoir, which supplies water to two hydropower plants ($120 million total investment). When the reservoir was completed in 1982, it had a 100 year design life based on projected sedimentation rates. Unfortunately, due to high erosion rates and landslides in the watershed, the dead storage zone in the reservoir was filling at a rate 6 times faster than expected in the early 1990s, and the dead zone was projected to fill by 1999 or 85 years earlier than projected. An additional $40 million was required to decrease sediment loadings to the reservoir via upstream sediment trapping dams and the water intakes were modified to permit more sediment accumulation without blocking the intakes. These investments were projected to increase the life of the project by 50 years.
Nationalization of forests in the 1950s initiated deforestation processes in the Kulekhani watershed between the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Kulekhani hydropower plants were built. In the mid-1980s, the government and donor agencies launched participatory watershed conservation programs in Kulekhani watershed to encourage upland people to form community forestry users’ groups, which gave the communities control of forest resources subject to approval of forest management plans. Forest cover declined between 1978 and 1992, but by 2001, forest cover rebounded to pre-1978 levels as trees planted in the mid-to-late 1980s began to mature. Analysis indicated that rates of sedimentation to the Kulekhani reservoir were declining by the late 1990s. Analysis of dry-season water-flow also indicated that water-flow to the reservoir increased as the forest cover increased.
Report by Manish Man Singh
My very first hike from Deerwalk and I was excited about it. I didn’t have a clue about the place that I was going to explore but I knew there was something in store for sure.
The journey started off with never ending jokes and laughter and I was already enjoying this
We started off at 6 45 and slowly started picking up everyone from their pick up points but the organizer of this Hike was not reachable and no calls from him! but luckily he showed up at his pick up point, that was Mr. Rupesh Karki.We had Saroj Neupane, Deependra Shrestha, Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rupesh Karki, Suman Shrestha, Aawart Adhikari, Ramesh Banjade, LekhNath Bhusal, Basanta Amatya, me and of course Kedar dai for the hike. The journey started off with never ending jokes and laughter and I was already enjoying this.
I was loving the beautiful scenery outside and was busy clicking all the time. We definitely had a bit of a hick-ups during the journey as there was a construction going on but with Kedar Dai’s driving skills and Rupesh with his clever tactics and his loud voice cleared everything and the best part was that we didn’t have to pay a single rupee for the tax. We stopped for some oranges and I had sometime to click few nice shots, I never clicked so many pictures in a single day, and kept clicking to my hearts content. We finally reached Kulekhani and this huge damn was really awesome though we had to start walking earlier than expected as heavy vehicle were not allowed to pass through but it was a nice treat for the eyes. Me and Kanchan were busy taking picture of the beautiful scenery and people around us and the models were busy posing for a nice profile picture for Facebook. The Damn never seemed to end no matter how far we walked and this beautiful scenary kept us going. The long hanging bridge was another highlight of this hike which was definitely a spot for some more picture. I clicked and clicked till the end and this very first hike for me but definitely a memorable one as there was so many things we did in such a little span of time, so many pictures captured, so many jokes and “on the spot composed songs”, and it was just so much laughter and fun we had on this day which really made this memorable. Really looking forward for some more of this.
The hiking track and experience differ somehow from my previous hikes. Being my first hike after I joined Deerwalk, I was sort of experimenting how walkers really walk in the track. Hiking track was a lot easier than expected as Rupesh was warning it to be a very tough hike. This hike added more people of Deerwalk in my close friends list as everyone was fully involved in each and every event that went in the hike. So, I have to say hike was full of participation.