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Snowfall Prompts Seasonal Migration In Humla

Residents of Hilsa Bazaar, on the Nepali side of the Nepal-China border, have relocated to Simkot, leaving their homes in the hands of six caretakers.

Because businesses could not operate due to the snowstorm and resulting cold, the owners of the residences have gone to Simkot after handing over the houses to guards.

Karma Lama, the owner of Hilsa’s Manasarovar Hotel, stated he travelled to Simkot and left the hotel to a caretaker.

He claimed that the temperature in the highlands had dropped to – 17 degrees Celsius, making staying in the location impossible. In the hills, there are more than a dozen large tourist and several modest hotels.

However, there has been minimal trade since the COVID-19 outbreak closed the Hilsa border crossing.

In previous years, there were ten to twelve guards on duty during the winter, but this year the hotel owners have left only six workers on duty.

Hilsa Bazaar is now under the control of six people till next May. Lama stated that there will be no movement of individuals during this time and that food for the guards has been provided. In Hilsa, over 100 households with a wide range of individuals have been residing.

Yakyong Lama, a caretaker at Hilsa’s Manasarovar Hotel, claimed he would be there for four months.

He admitted that he didn’t know how to spend the day because he didn’t have any other work, but they were able to spend time together simply conversing.

He said that because it was growing colder, they had to spend the day heating the house.

Although there are immigration and customs offices nearby, they have been shuttered for the past two years. Guards will be stationed in Hilsa, as will security officers from border security installations.

Even though it is not snowing, they are traveling to the kit area for daily border patrol, according to Armed Police Inspector Purna Bahadur Chand, in-charge of the Border Security Post (BOP).

He stated that patrolling the Nara area was impossible due to up to three feet of snow in the area. He stated that patrolling the Nara area was impossible due to up to three feet of snow in the area.

He claimed that the water in the Karnali River had frozen and that it had to be heated and dumped to obtain tap water owing to the cold.

When the sun is shining, he explained, communication can only be done through WorldLink’s internet or the Chinese border.

Contact is made only in the morning at the district headquarters in Simkot, he said.

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