ARTIST – ANNA GERMANO
PHOTOGRAPHY – BHUWAN ROKKA
INTERVIEW – RONISH MANANDHAR
TRANSLATOR – UTSAV PRADHAN
Kamala Adhikari is the owner of a guesthouse in Marpha, Mustang. Located at the base of the immense Annapurna mountains, Marpha must contend with a variety of natural phenomena. Far from the reach of the central government, this village serves as an example of the power of local self-government.
Baisakh 12 and 29 [April 25th and May 12th], we also faced a very difficult situation. When we heard about other areas, we felt terrible. It was terrible how it struck, everyone ran here and there. On that day, the 25th, we didn’t experience that much loss but on the 12th, there was heavy rain and maybe because of this rain the hills sank. That loosened the soil and maybe because of all that a muddy, gravelly flood covered all our houses. It damaged our stored food, other materials, it created a very hard situation. It destroyed two houses. Many people were affected by that flood.
we experienced a destructive and deadly earthquake. Earthquake shake it was really massive and destructive.on 29, Due to rainfall and shake of mountain, our village was covered by a muddy flood which destroyed the cereals and other food items we had stored for the year. Two houses were destroyed .
One thing we have, one good point is that we have a local committee who governs this village. Under their supervision, we decided that from each house, one person was compulsory, those over 18 were compulsory, and outsiders, those who are originally from somewhere else but conduct business here were mandated to help. They all came. Those who could use shovels, they used shovels, who could use picks, used picks, who carry doko [Nepali basket], used doko. With the help of the army group, help from the police group it took us 25-30 days, around one month. People who have to work to eat, had to come and work for free, think how hard it was for them to survive. Isn’t that right?
To deal with this kind of devastation, our elders had made a tunnel above the village. Now we are maintaining this as we did here. Now, we are planning to collaborate with the district level, the village level, to divert water from coming into our village, drain out. We planned to propose this we have to continue to do this.
At that time, many people they slept 20-25 days in the fields. They came home, it would shake, again they would go out; how long would they have to stay there. In that situation if there had been a community building, it would have been nice. We have to be and save Marpha.