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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Monday, 3 August 2015

Artificial glaciers and Chewang Norphel




Glacier Man

CHEWANG  NORPHEL

 A retired civil engineer battles climate change in the Himalayas, building artificial glaciers that provide irrigation water to mountain villages

At more than 4000 meters above sea level in the trans-Himalayas, the air is so thin that it can be a struggle simply to breathe. Yet Chewang Norphel is almost jogging across the boulder-strewn landscape, with goatlike agility that belies his 80 years. Tonight, he will sleep in a tent 1000 meters higher up, at temperatures that dip 10°C below freezing, so as to continue his work in the morning. And what unusual work it is: Norphel makes glaciers. He takes a barren, high-altitude desert and turns it into a field of ice that supplies perfectly timed irrigation water to some of the worlds poorest farmers.
 So far, Norphel has built 10 artificial glaciers, which sustain crops that feed some
 10,000 people. Its become his obsession. “When it is ver y cold and ver y diff icult work, I have to remain  focused. All I can think about is making the most successful glacier.


He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015

video

He spends his time at home tending to his garden along with his wife. Most of his household consumption vegetables & fruits are sourced from here. He has also developed an underground storage place to store vegetables. This natural preservation can keep onions fresh for over 9 months!

 


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Conservation of Natural Heritage Information study Centre.