LETTERS: Rain causes havoc
This relates to the news story “Rainfall likely to continue for a few more days” (THT, July 2, Page 1). The rainy season has been causing a lot of trouble all over the country.
Roads seem terrible with the rainfall effect. Already half a dozen people have been killed in the landslides and floods across the country and more are likely to perish as the monsoon has just become active.
It is a natural process that cannot be prevented, but human efforts can at least minimize its effects on life and economy. It is also good news for farmers that they have been able to plant paddy on time due to the timely rainfall.
The roads are either washed away or get damaged due to rainfall because of poor construction that too before the onset of monsoon that causes huge damage to the black topped roads if they get inundated or water-logged.
The government must start construction of roads or drinking water pipeline or repairing of drainage system well before or after the monsoon. But there is a tendency in the bureaucracy to release the construction budget only at the last month of the fiscal year or just before the start of the monsoon.
Such trend must be stopped if the roads and drainage systems are to be kept intact even during the rainy season.
Animesh Shrestha, Kathmandu
Mushroom poisoning is one of the lethal hazards taking its horrendous toll on people every year.
Various national media reports maintain that more than a dozen people have already succumbed to the consumption of wild mushroom this year alone, including 10 till June 3 in Panchthar district “Death toll from wild mushroom consumption reaches 10 in Panchthar” (THT Online, June 3), “Mom dies, 3 kids ill after consuming toxic mushroom in Dolakha” (THT Online, June 30).
Furthermore, annually hundreds of people are hospitalized when they are taken ill after consuming toxic mushroom foraged from fields and forests “28 taken ill after consuming wild mushroom in Nuwakot” (THT Online, June 24”).
Needless to say, these reports may just be the tip of the iceberg since there is no doubt that various cases of death and illness relating to consumption of this venomous wild food go unreported as the media access to the remote villages of the country is not there.
The sole cause of these incidents is reportedly attributed to the confusion of toxic mushrooms with edible mushrooms because of the resemblance of colours, sizes and shapes.
Since it serves as a delicious dish with tempting flavour and taste with high medicinal and nutritional value, hunting this fungus as a local source of food in the wild is common among the indigenous people of the high mountains and hills of the country.
It is estimated that nearly 1,000 species of mushroom are found in Nepal. However, of them only a total of 288 species are used as food.
The studies indicate that the chances of misidentification of mushroom and threats resulting from it are high.
Som Nath Ghimire, Kawasoti