Monthly Overview on State of Environment, Nepal, December 2013

Monthly Overview on State of Environment, Nepal, Dec 2013

Until a few months ago, Kathmandu Valley denizens would walk past the Bagmati River covering their noses. These days, the river has undergone a makeover of sorts and the credit goes to the Bagmati Cleaning Campaign which completed its 30 weeks in December. Read more in this December 2013 edition of the Monthly Overview on State of Environment, Nepal, December 2013 published by the South Asia Environment Portal

ENVIRONMENT

Samuhik Abhiyan, Rupantaran-Nepal and National Association of village development committees in Nepal (NAVIN) launched an initiative to train district officials on integrating adaptation to climate change in local development plans. Global South-South Development Expo, a UN system-wide global high profile event that took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from October 28 to November 1, presented award to the Nepali government for embracing the challenging issue of climate change in its budget.

LAND, AGRICULTURE, GRAZING LANDS AND ANIMAL CARE

Paddy production has increased in Terhathum district of Nepal this year with timely rainfall during the plantation season. The Nepal government is introducing four new varieties of hybrid maize seeds and one variety of hybrid cucumber seed in the domestic market in the next fiscal year. The Ministry of Agriculture Development in Nepal has started the Orange Farming Strengthening Programme in Lamjung district. The Nepal  government has implemented Land Use Policy 2012 in Chitwan, Nawalparasi and Bara districts by zoning land for specified purposes and prohibiting its use in other ways. The National Census of Agriculture 2012 has revealed that about 128,000 hectares of fertile land in Nepal is uncultivated. The Ministry of Agriculture Development in Nepal, has provided a compensation of 211 million 679 thousand rupees to the poultry farmers and businesses concerned for the loss of chicks, eggs, bird feed and chicken due to the spread of bird flu at six different places.

DAMS

The Sikta irrigation project in Nepal, looks like missing its construction deadline as work on the main canal has been delayed due to a dispute with locals over compensation for their land. The project is targeted to be completed this year. Construction works of the Daraundi A Hydroelectricity Project has taken momentum in Nepal. The six-megawatt-capacity project is being constructed on the Daraundi River in Gorakha district. Villagers in Pasgaun, Lamjung of Nepal, are excited that the 65-KW micro hydropower project has finally illuminated their houses. The Supreme Court summoned government authorities for renewing a contract with Nepal Water and Energy Development Company Pvt Ltd, a joint venture of Korea-based Z Power Company, to produce electricity from 216 MW Upper Trishuli-1 Hydropower Project.

FORESTS

The Government of Japan has extended support worth Rs. 451.8 million to strengthen forest preservation systems in Nepal. Officials of community forest consumers’ committee have been accused of corruption and rampant felling of tress in Surkhet. Felling and smuggling of timber has continued unabated in the Chure area of Luhale Khola National Forest in Udayapur of Nepal.

POLLUTION

Locals have been staging a sit-in in front of Hulas Wire Factory, Bansbari, in Morang district of Nepal, blaming it of polluting the local environment. Until a few months ago, Kathmandu Valley denizens would walk past the Bagmati River covering their noses. These days, the river has undergone a makeover of sorts and the credit goes to the ‘Bagmati Cleaning Campaign’, which completed its 30 weeks. Fighting all odds, the campaign that began on May 18 has instilled hope among people that seeing a clean Bagmati flow by is possible. The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division in Nepal, said it has taken action against 3,114 vehicles in the past six months for honking horns in core areas of the capital city.

WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is planning to involve the private sector for door-to-door garbage collection in the city. The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has directed the Nepal Ministry of Urban Development to form a high-level team to monitor and implement the acts and laws on medical waste management. The Nepal government has formed a nation-level committee to monitor waste management practices in Kathmandu valley hospitals. Much to the relief of Pokhara residents in Nepal, a mobile toilet has come into operation in the Lake city.

PEOPLE

Due to lack of effective implementation of legal provisions, the trend of hiring under age children in different sectors hasn’t stopped in Nepal. During monitoring, children were found to have been exploited in hotels, shops, houses.

HEALTH

In a bid to control dengue spread in Chitwan, the Department of Health, Epidemiology and Disease Control in Teku, Kathmandu and the Chitwan District Public Health Office (DPHO) jointly launched a three-day campaign. The number of kala-azar patients increased in Morang district of Nepal. The Supreme Court directed the Nepal government authorities to deploy a medical team to identify the mysterious disease that has already claimed 15 people at Bhiee and Dhanaikot VDCs of Mugu district. With the country witnessing zero cases of polio in the past three years, Nepal is at the juncture of eradicating the crippling disease. The last polio case was reported on August 30, 2010 in Rautahat. Come February 14, 2014; Nepal will be declared 'polio free' – a milestone for a country, which has not yet graduated from the group of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), said officials. The Nepal government in association with national and international partners is launching a two-day 15th National Polio Immunisation Campaign on December 21. The Nepal government and Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) have signed an agreement for a multi million project aimed to improve maternal and child health care in remote Mugu district. A five-year regional project to improve food and nutrition security in four countries — Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar — was launched in Kathmandu. The Supreme Court directed the Nepal government to strictly implement the anti-tobacco provisions of Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Act and work for protecting public health.

 

PESTICIDES AND HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS

Nepal imported 345 tonnes of pest-killing chemicals worth Rs 380 million in the last fiscal year and 85 percent of them were applied in vegetable production, stated a report issued by the Plant Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture Development. The Nepal government has stepped up measures to discourage the use of pesticides in the agricultural sector owing to the health hazards it poses and the harm it causes to the ecology. Nepal Standard Council has decided to regulate the lead levels in paints on consideration of public health. Most of the paint brands in the Nepali market are found to have lead levels higher than the acceptable limit of 90ppm. Some even contain lead levels that are more than 10,000ppm, according a study conducted by the Centre for Public Health and Environmental Development.

LIVING RESOURCES

Herds of elephants coming across the Dudhuwa National Park in India have been creating havoc in Parasan VDC-8 of Kanchanpur district in far west Nepal. Nepal created new strides in snow leopard conservation with the historic collaring of a snow leopard using satellite GPS technology in Kangchenjunga Conservation Area in the Sacred Himalayan Landscape. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in support of Hariyo Ban Programme under WWF Nepal is facilitating the draft of a new guideline focusing on bird species.

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