TODAY -

Journalists witness sorry state of Usoipokpi, Waithou Pat
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 08 2021: As part of the "Know Your Sanctuaries and Wetlands" media campaign, journalists visited Usoipokpi Pat and Waithou Pat.

Even though Usoipokpi Pat is a protected wetland, the journalists came across many encroached structures including a "workshop" in the middle of the wetland.

Some had large gates erected to protect their "farms".

An old man who was working at a farm said the Usoipokpi Pat has lost its original glory.

It once had abundant wildlife.

Many migratory birds visited the wetland when he was young.

Now, the number of migratory birds has reduced significantly due to human activities inside the wetland, he added.

The wetland had many local fishes, but there are hardly any now.



Journalists witness sorry state of Usoipokpi, Waithou Pat
Journalists witness sorry state of Usoipokpi, Waithou Pat


With many claiming over the land, the villagers who used to fish in the waters of the wetland are now facing hard times earning livelihood, he said, adding he wants the wetland to return to its original state.

Environment and Climate Change Department's Deputy Director Th Brajakumar, who accompanied the journalists said the National Wetland Atlas in 2010 had listed 167 wetlands having areas exceeding 2.5 hectares and 504 small ones.

The State has identified and prioritised wetlands for conservation.

Waithou pat is among seven prominent wetlands identified for conservation while Usoipokpi Pat is included in a list of 23 wetlands, he said.

Usoipokpi Pat is about 75.5 hectares in areas but some 15 percent of the wetland has water.

The remaining areas are being used as agricultural/ farm land.

On the other hand, the Waithou Pat has water in only 28 percent of the total area.

The wetlands are deteriorating rapidly due to human activities.

Conserving the wetlands of Manipur need collective efforts of all including the Government and the locals.

Locals should be given awareness on the need for conserving the wetlands.

This team was flagged off by All Manipur Working Journalists' Union (AMWJU) vice president Soubam Bokuljaoba and general secretary Kh Naoba from Manipur Press Club.


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