Kathmandu’s air quality degrading rapidly after earthquakes

Kathmandu, June 3

Air quality in the Valley is rapidly deteriorating after the earthquake as dust particles from the rubble left in the wake of the quake have yet to be taken care of, according to a report presented by LEADERS Nepal.

Secretary of LEADERS Nepal Dhiraj Pokhrel said pollution levels have increased from 40 microgram per cubic meter to 204 microgram per cubic meter in the Valley.

“The situation is worse in urban areas,” said commuter Sahayog Ranjit, adding, “I can barely open my eyes and breathe air due to dust, and smoke from vehicles. I need to be armed with sunglasses and a mask if I want to traverse through the city.”

Bikal Manandhar said riding his bike every day is an ordeal. “I always get covered in dust and dirt after a bike ride. What makes matters worse is we don’t have sufficient water to bathe daily.”

Secretary Pokhrel said air pollution levels have also increased within homes.

Using traditional fire stoves for cooking and burning candles for light pollute the air within houses, and adversely affect the health of people living in those houses. Children and elderly people are affected most by the pollution.