With over 80% of the Himalayan region located in Nepal, over six thousand rivers and tributaries flow throughout the country. From its majestic glaciers in the north to the lowlands of the Terai, Nepal’s rivers enrich its many basins and valleys, supporting 27.8 million Nepalese and providing fertile land for 85 percent of the population who depends on agriculture for subsistence. Nepal’s Himalayan Rivers directly support over 1.4 billion people in South Asia, providing water for drinking, household use, hydropower, irrigation, fishing, industrial, biodiversity, environmental services, and tourism, and supply over 70 percent of the annual flow of the Ganges River in India. However, the rivers in Nepal are threatened by poorly managed development projects, and lack of waste treatment facilities.
Megh Bahadur Ale is a river guide, explorer, conservationist, campaigner, social entrepreneur, and Ashoka Fellow. Megh is the Founder and President of Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT), a non-profit organization established in 1995 by a group of concerned river guides who recognized the ecological and cultural damage taking place on Nepal's rivers. Megh has led NRCT towards conserving Nepal's Himalayan river systems, preserving Nepal's cultural heritage, and developing an environmentally responsible river tourism industry.