It is late April 2022. At Namche Bazaar, a town in the Everest region of Nepal at an elevation of 3,555 metres above sea level, life and business have not been the same since the Covid-19 outbreak. Located on the way to the Everest south base camp, this bustling market has seen reduced footfall because of the pandemic.
Setbacks are not new to the residents of Namche Bazaar; however, the last two years seemed worse, admitted Dilkumari Rai from the Solu region of the Solukhumbu district, who runs a small Nepalese and Chinese eatery. “The business is not profitable,” she said. The pandemic has added to the effects of constantly changing weather that worry the local communities. Avalanches, landslides and unseasonal rains are becoming terrifyingly frequent.
The local people point to the mountains cast in sombre brown. “These mountains used to be white with snow at this time – they have only a few streaks of snow now,” said Kapindra Rai, a programme officer at Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, a non-profit that manages waste in the Everest region. “Last year, we had unnaturally heavy snowfall in winter. Summers are a lot warmer now.”
Warm winters, warmer summers, landslides, avalanches and glacier lake outburst flood – the…