May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Kathmandu becomes third most polluting city in the world

The Nepal Weekly
April 9, 2024

Air quality has deteriorated significantly, with Kathmandu ranking as the third most polluted city globally on Monday, recording an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 165.

It was measured 158 in Khumaltar, 175 in Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, and 120 in the Ratnapark area raising alarming concern for public health.

According to the experts, an AQI above 100 poses a severe threat to human health. An AQI value of 50 is considered good for public health, from 51-100 moderate, 100-150 unhealthy and it is highly hazardous if the index reaches between 150 and 200. Nepal normally experiences around 2,500 incidents of wildfires annually, with a majority occurring between the February and May. The period from mid-March to mid-May is particularly vulnerable, accounting for 60 per cent of reported forest fires, which is mainly responsible for deteriorating air quality in the country.

The main contributors to air pollution include carbon emissions from vehicles, dust from road repairs and construction, emissions from industries and brick kilns, poor waste management practices, and forest fires. We need to address these issues systematically, pointed out experts. Promoting the use of environmentally friendly vehicles can significantly mitigate air pollution, they added.

Respiratory diseases, common cold and cough, asthma, lung cancer, high blood pressure, paralysis and heart attack are mainly caused by air pollution.