At a time when the Valley is witnessing a sharp hike in number of people hit with water-borne diseases like diahorrea, dysentery and typhoid, around 200 youths have volunteered to assist Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC) Lab in testing the quality of water being supplied by NWSC inside Kathmandu. The young bunch, equipped with latest testing kits, will chiefly be concerned with measuring the level of chlorine, a disinfectant, in pipe water. At the end of the month-long testing period, the NWSC Lab, with the help of collected data, will adjust the level of chlorine being added to Valley water. It might be noted that chlorine can be harmful for human health if consumed in excess. On the other hand, too little chlorine means that the bacteria and worms present in piped water will remain unaffected.
Officials at NWSC Lab acknowledge that this small effort of young volunteers will, in all likelihood, help ward off a major waterborne epidemic
inside the Valley. In this case, the NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation, UN-HABITAT and a few other NGOs have teamed up to make up for the shortfall of manpower at NWSC. Indeed, in a resource deficient country like Nepal, such private initiatives are invaluable. In the past, enthusiastic youths and adults alike have volunteered for social works like health check-up and crowd management. Needless to say, such efforts aimed at social welfare should be both encouraged and recognised. Moreover, every effort should be made to replicate them in other sectors of society as well.