The name Pokhara is derived from the Nepali word for ‘pond’, and points to the numerous lakes and wetlands in the valley below the Annapurnas.
However, with tourism-driven urbanisation, Pokhara is losing its water bodies. The smaller lakes have been overtaken by farmlands or settlements. Sedimentation is shrinking Phewa and the other bigger lakes, and pollution has affected aquatic and bird life.
In addition, haphazard building and road construction on the slopes above the lake have increased sedimentation, and affected the groundwater table causing many springs and streams to go dry. While there has been a visible decline in the number of bird species, numerous other insects, including butterflies and dragonflies, which depend on clean water sources, have also started disappearing.
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