The Association du Bessin au Népal arose out of an initiative led by people living in Normandy that had links to villagers living in Dhye, a village in the high mountains of Mustang. The solidarity nurtured between the two communities led to Tronquay, in the Eure, twinning with Dhye.
A victim of global warming
In northern Nepal between the Annapurnas and the Chinese border, Dhye is a victim of global warming. The region has an arid climate so all their crops have to be irrigated and the snow meltwater provides an essential source of water. Global warming is disrupting the monsoon season, which tends to flood the lower regions of Nepal resulting in lower rainfall in the higher areas. There are two major effects: the glaciers are melting more quickly and the snow and rainfall is insufficient.
Turning a difficulty into an opportunity
The villagers considered and decided: the village had to be moved to a place where they could irrigate their crops. In agreement with the Nepalese authorities, a site has been identified half a day's walk from the current place, and above all close to other villages and communication routes to Mustang and Nepal – a major advantage for the development project the villagers are working on. The idea is to start planting apple trees there so they will be producing by the time the village itself arrives. Fresh and dried fruit will be sold and in the future will be made into juice, jam and cider.
The Association du Bessin au Népal looks for and provides both financial and engineering support while the villagers provide all the unskilled labour. A hydroelectric power plant and pumping station have already been installed on the new site to supply drinking water and electricity, and the Veolia Foundation is supporting the construction of the village's community centre. The promise of a more resilient way of life in a new place is rooted in the commitment of a community located many kilometres away. Solidarity knows no borders…