Phayeng village

Phayeng village comes under Imphal district and the village is divided into 4 Singlup namely Nongpok Leikai, Shabal Leikai, Makha Leikai and Umang leikai. As per 2011 census, the village has 660 households with a population of 2728 individuals. The sex ratio is high with 1045 females for 1000 males and the literacy rate of the village stands at 75.17%. Majority of them belong to scheduled caste with a few tribal populations. Agriculture is the main occupation of the villagers and many of them also engaged themselves as agricultural labourer. Most of the villagers have large area of homestead land as well as agricultural land. Each homestead land is surrounded by varieties of trees and bamboos.

The importance of this village came due to the undying effort to conserve a vast tract of forest adjacent to the village from any sort of disturbances. For the purpose, a forest committee was formed and every year 60 members were selected by the villagers to provide protection to the forest. Due to the presence of this dense forest adjacent to the village, the people of the village still gets to breathe fresh air and it gives cool wind to beat the heat on a sunny daY.

Pic: The dense community forest

Every villagers that were interviewed though feels that the daily temperature have indeed increased and more drastically in the last 4-5 years. Heat related death of chicken in poultry farm and pigs in piggery have also been witnessed in the village. In old days, during the winter season, it was difficult to walk barefoot on the ground due to the presence of snow and frost but that is not the case now. Occurrence of fog and snow has become a rare phenomenon. Many believed that the reason for the increase in temperature is deforestation, though one villager thinks that climate change is not due to the felling of trees but due to increase in population and vehicular pollution.

Thoughtless felling of trees has also made way for the loss of many indigenous fruit trees. Today, only a few trees of Hamengji and Heirangoi are found growing in the forest. The villagers feel that preservation of the forest is very important, not only to preserve the various tree species but also to conserve water. In the absence of the forest, the water that is present in the river today will also be gone, as the trees helps in percolation of the rain water and then filling the river.

Once, the river was also always filled with water, even during the winter months and the gushing sound of the water can be heard all along the river. The loss of tree has made the Malang River runs dry after the rainy season and seasonal flood has become a rare occurrence now. But it only causes frequent flash flood and the silt it carries only makes the Malang River shallow. This further aggravated the problem since the river is not able to carry the increasing volume of water during the rainy season. The overflowing water enters the agricultural field and inundates the area, thus causing problem for timely cultivation due to excess water.

The erratic rainfall has only increases the miseries of the farmers. They said, earlier the number of rainy days were more and rainfall occurs with high intensity but it has drastically fallen during the last decade, both in intensity as well as in the number of rainy days. Today the rain comes and goes as it wishes. These has increase the scarcity of water in the village but the productivity in agriculture as such has not decreased mainly only due to the introduction of high yielding variety. Local varieties like “moirang pau” have given to the new varieties as the local varieties have more height and tend to fall down at the impact of wind. Cultivation as a whole has become a difficult task for everyone with the erratic rainfall and changing climate.

Lack of timely availability of water has further change the style of cultivation. Earlier, with the timely arrival of rainfall, seeds were sowed in a certain area and then the saplings were transplanted to the fields. But in the present days, without enough water, cultivation is done hurriedly. It lacks proper preparation of the field and the seeds are sowed directly before the field get dried. Along with it and the increasing cost in practicing agriculture, some people have shifted to horticulture and fisheries as they feel it is more profitable.

Almost every household rear pigs and few are also engaged in poultry. Even though many of the families have large area of land, the people of the village are still socio-economically not sound. Most of the household still use firewood for cooking purposes and only few houses were found to use LPG.

Karang village