MOUNT KAILASH SACRED RIVERS IN WESTERN TIBET

MOUNT KAILASH: FOUR SACRED RIVERS IN WESTERN TIBET
Tibet is the source of most rivers in Asia. The four major Asian rivers have their sources on all four sides of Kailash. These four rivers flow across Asia, and a huge population of the neighboring countries depends on the water from these rivers.
Brahmaputra River. Yarlung Tsangpo
The source of the river is on the east side of Kailash. The name Brahmaputra comes from the Indian language. The river flows along the southern part of Tibet, into India, and then to Bangladesh, where it merges with the Ganges River and finally reaches the Bay of Bengal. In Tibet, the Niyang River and the Lhasa River are tributaries of the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
Sutlej River. Langchen Khabub
The Sutlej River originates at the foot of Mount Kailash from a modern glacier near Langta. The Sutlej flows west to Tada County in Tibet, the most important river in the Ali province of the Tibet Autonomous Region. After that, it enters Himachal Pradesh in India. The section in India is called the Sutlej River. From there, it flows further to Pakistan.
Indus River. Singgye Khabub 
The source of the river is to the north of Kailash. It is one of the major rivers in Western Tibet. The river flows from the southeast to the northwest. At the Tashigang Border Station in Tibet, it merges with another important tributary that originates in the northern foothills of the Himalayas in Tibet. After entering the Kashmir region in India, it flows further through Pakistan into the Indian Ocean.
Karnali – tributary of the Ganges River. Macha Khabub 
The Karnali River originates near Lake Manasarovar, to the south of Kailash. Its source is in a glacier to the north of Gudron-la in the Himalayas in Purang County. Karnali is a tributary of the Ganges or Ganga River. From Western Tibet, the river flows to Nepal (where it is the longest river in Nepal), and then further to India. It runs through the southern part of Purang County, called Simicott Town (mainly Tibetan) in Nepal. It enters Nepalese territory and then flows into the Ganges River, which flows through India and into the Indian Ocean.

Lithium Mining in Tibet

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On 13th October 2022,
Our Environmental Officer, Wangmo had a zoom meeting with Aliza Khalid, a climate journalist working at Lok Sujag from Pakistan, researching on renewable and clean energy. She was doing a story regarding electric vehicles' batteries. They discussed why Tibetan people and activists are protesting against lithium mining and its human and social cost.

Tibetans have no say over China’s lithium extraction, and see none of its benefits. What they have seen is pollution and the build-up of factories and other infrastructure across Tibet’s once pristine landscape.

The two principal methods of extracting lithium, brine harvesting from lakes and hard rock mining, both carry risks of environmental and social damage due to the toxic chemicals required. The Ganhetan industrial zone, for example, is well-known among Chinese scientific investigators for its air pollution, which has been accompanied by increased rates of fluorosis, a disease that causes teeth to become brittle. High concentrations of toxic metals in the soil have made the surrounding area unsuitable for agriculture.

Toxic chemicals used by the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium in Dartsedo, eastern Tibet, have found their way into the Lichu River on more than one occasion, killing fish and farm animals belonging to the community of Minyak Lhagang. After one such leak, in April 2016, the residents of Dartsedo County defied a large police presence to protest to the local government, securing a temporary halt to the extraction.

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In this aerial view of Chabyer Tsaka, a build-up of lithium production facilities can be seen in the east and northwest shores of the lake. Evaporation pools, used to extract lithium salts from brine, are visible on the northwest side, while roads on the southeast side connect the lake to the city of Shigatse.

4th Tibet Rivers Conference

On 25th September 2022,
Central TWA's Environmental Officer was invited to attend the 4th Tibet Rivers Conference themed on Brahmaputra - Lifeline of North-East India at C.D Deshmukh Auditorium IIC, New Delhi engaging in the matters of Tibet's River and Asia's Lifeline. The event turned out great sharing knowledge and experience with the wide range of expertise serving the global environment.
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