High and Dry in Nepal's Mustang Valley

Nepali Times

Video by Gopen Rai and Ayesha Shakya

In a trans-Himalayan region that receives less than 200 millimetres of rain a year, erratic rain and snowfall have led to a deepening water crisis.

Known formerly as the Kingdom of Lo, and open to outsiders only in 1992, Upper Mustang still has an air of mystery around it. Bordering China on the north and situated in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, it is famous for its arid mountains, steep cliffs and dry ochre-coloured landscape. The region is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture, as is evident by the many monasteries, prayer wheels and Chortens (shrines), spread throughout its villages.

Higher temperatures and more frequent droughts are pushing poor and marginalized communities to the limit

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