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 “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”

Garry de la Pomerai

During the recent days, we have all noticed the air pollution within Kathmandu, caused predominantly by set agricultural fires across the Nepal Nation.

However even without the fires, Kathmandu sits in a captive valley of all the emissions from industry and transport and domestic cooking. In addition to the air, we have water challenges too in maintaining our water bodies, with such lakes as the RaniPokhari.

During the next few weeks we shall publish a series of blogs on individual challenges within our valley environment, from air to water to waste to micro agriculture sustainability, to respect of our environment and how these all merge and remain reliant upon each other to establish a sustainable resilient society.

The adjacent picture epitomises the challenges, the sun hardly visible over a water body with a high viscous black and sultry dead eco system.

Both causations by a combination of pure ignorance and lack of research and poor coordination. The old adage of “Too many cooks spoil the broth” remains as true to day as it was 100 years ago.

Strong leadership within the environment with identifiable stakeholders contributing their needs, but not demanding solitary solutions which either adversely affect others or simply shift the problem.

This week needs be a wake up call to Government, Agencies and Communities, that the Valley can not continue in this thread of disastrous environmental results from neglect, lack of will power for change and more often than not, authorities burying the heads in the sand hoping that the eventual winds and the rains will come and make it all go away. Meanwhile we are gradually killing our citizens far in excess of any virus.

During the next few weeks, we shall address one topic per week and how ‘it’ is affected by and how itself affects other aspects of our coexistence within the environment, eco systems and their needs.

Water and Air remain our fundamental essential needs for life, without either, life can not exist and yet we take is for granted, we abuse it, we neglect it, we don’t try to understand either.

Whole previous civilisations have died out because of the lack of one or the other, sometimes self-inflicted sometimes by cataclysmic events. In 2021 we have only ourselves to blame. Week one will be about our water bodies.

Air pollution diverts flights

A thick layer of smoke canopied the Nepali capital Kathmandu and other cities districts throughout the nation reported wildfires.

As per the Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD), a total of 54 districts now is engulfed by a forest fire which is emitting smoke into the airspace of the Himalayan Nation that has resulted in a dip in the Air Quality Index (AQI).

Nepal witnessed a relatively hot and dry winter as the country received only 25 per cent of normal rainfall in the season.

With scant rainfall in three winter months (December-February), the country experienced a severe drought-like situation, the report added.

Further, it has discouraged burning waste and driving vehicles in order to minimize air pollution. In case people have to get out of their houses, it has encouraged wearing face mask and following the COVID-19 safety protocols.

Garry de la Pomerai: ‘Project manager in water resource management and environmental impacts’.

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