Bandipora June, 24: With unseasonal snowfall, the nomadic communities have been hit hardly and are bearing burnt of climate change, leading to catastrophic consequences.
The nomadic communities in different meadows in North Kashmir's Bandipora District have been roaming with their cattle herds in search of grazing land as the unseasonal snowfall has covered the meadows leaving nomads in distress.
Cold wave conditions have engulfed the upper reaches of Kashmir, triggering panic among the nomads who have migrated and arrived different high-altitude meadows of valley recently. These high altitude and vast grazing meadows remain inhabited by the Nomads during Summer.
Mohammad Abbas, an environmentalist and a Professor at Govt Degree College Bandipora told Rising Kashmir that the main reason for the change in climate is due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels.
Though facing an adversarial situation triggered by climate change, Abdul Qasim Khan a nomad from pir panjal range told Rising Kashmir that they feel scared for the last four days as they got stuck in snowstorm in one of the high altitudes near Razdan pass. "Our average livestock is missing since the snowfall engulfed in the areas," he said while terming this year's seasonal migration worst.
Similarly, Rajouri's Mohammad Kareem whose family members fell ill due to unseasonal snowfall, termed the journey as much dreadful and says that following the improvement in weather, they left the spot where their settlements were destroyed due to snowfall and came down with their livestock towards Authwatoo .
In anotherheart-wrenching incident was witnessed near Razdan pass along Bandipora-Gurez road where Kulsoomaakthar a nomad girl from Poonch district was asking for help from the travellers passing through the route as their temporary tent was destroyed by snowfall at high altitudes. "Kulsooma was crying and begging for help and was saying that their cattle were lost. We have suffered a great loss," Irshad Ahmad an eyewitness quoting her told the rising Kashmir.
District Sheep Husbandry Officer Bandipora Dr Showkat told Rising Kashmir that due to recent untimely snowfall at higher reaches officials of sheep husbandry department by putting their lives at risk moved nomadic families stuck in snow covered mountain peaks to safer places and provided emergency treatment to the animals suffering from hypothermia and cold stress preventing huge losses.
With limited infrastructure at high land pastures every year nomads suffer huge losses during migration due to natural calamities and there is no mechanism in place to prevent losses, he said.
He also said that the collaborations between various line departments especially Sheep husbandry department, civil administration, SDRF and police shall ensure to effectively undertake mitigation efforts to prevent livestock losses to the nomads which is the only source of their livelihood and nutritional security.