Pesticide stock spoils school environment

PATHLAIYA: Students of Nepal Rastriya Secondary School in Bara's Amalekhgunj were not excited when one of their school buildings was being inaugurated today. The reason: the building lies close to the place where pesticides have been stored in large quantities.

The students have long been studying in the classrooms that are in close contact with the poisons. "The malodorous pesticides frequently disturb us in our study," Mahalaxmi Shahi, a tenth grader, said.

The health of teachers and students has been risked due to the pesticide stock near the school compound. The teachers said the students have frequently fallen unconscious due to the harmful smell. Burning eyes, headache and vomiting are common problems among students in a hot weather.

"We cannot stand a whiff originating from the stock," Mahesh Lama, another tenth grader, said. The students fear they could face a similar situation in the new building, which is a few metres from the pesticide godown. The new building was constructed at the cost of Rs 2.2 million.

The authorities concerned have not paid a heed to remove the pesticides, stored between the school and a settlement, despite repeated requests from the school management and the local residents, said Kishori Ram, headmaster of the school.

According to Agriculture Development Office, Birgunj, 16 kinds of pesticides, including Argano Compound, BHC, and DDC, have been stored in about 160 containers there.