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Role of State & Non-State Sector in Addressing Air Pollution in Kathmandu Valley

The National Consultation on “Role of State & Non-State Sectors in Addressing Air pollution in Kathmandu Valley” was successfully organized on January 10, 2017, Tuesday from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM at Alpha House, New Baneshwor in collaboration with Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) and in technical support from Forum for Protection of Consumers’ Rights, Nepal.

Report on consultation meeting on role of state and non state actors in addressing air pollution in Kathmandu

Air pollution, is the greatest environmental risk to health-causing more than 3 million premature deaths worldwide every year. More than 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) limits. While all regions of the world are affected, populations in low-income cities are the most impacted. According to the latest urban air quality database, 98% of cities in low- and middle income countries with more than 100 000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines. However, in high-income countries, that decreases to 56 percentages.

As air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who are exposed in such areas. Most sources of urban outdoor pollution are well beyond the control of individuals and demand action by cities, as well as national and international policy makers to promote cleaner transport, more efficient energy production and waste management. Reducing industrial smokestack emissions, increasing use of renewable power sources, like solar and wind, and prioritizing rapid transit, walking and cycling networks in cities are among suite of available and affordable strategies.

Air pollution in Kathmandu
According to Environment Performance Index, Nepal ranks 177 among 180 countries in term of air quality in the year 2016 whereas in 2014 Nepal was ranked 139. Air pollution has emerged as a biggest environmental health risk for the country, particularly Kathmandu valley where the rapid and uncontrollable urbanization and population growth makes the situation even worse. Apart from this, the unique topographic features with high emission of pollutants make the valley particularly vulnerable to air pollution. The valley is surrounded by the hills forming bowl-shaped topography, which restricts wind movement and retains the pollutants in the atmosphere. Studies show that the concentration of particulate matter less than 10 micron (PM10) in the valley’s ambient air is already higher than WHO guideline and Kathmandu is one of the most polluted cities in Asia with regard to PM10 and PM2.5 level. Although levels of gaseous pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen, oxide of sulphur, and ozone has not been found to be very high, they may increase I the future with increasing motorization rate.

Sources of air pollution in valley
Vehicular exhaust and re-suspended road dust from the unpaved, poorly maintained road are the major sources of air pollution in Kathmandu valley. Unprecedented growth of vehicles and ongoing road expansion drive has further degraded the sir quality in the valley. It is estimated that 63 percent of total PM10 in Kathmandu valley comes from vehicles and re-suspended road dust. However, according to ICIMOD study, the transport sector generated approx 98 percent of total PM10 in 2010.

Brick kilns are other major source of air pollution in the valley. There are around 104 brick kilns operating in Kathmandu valley alone. As these kilns operate during the dry season, the level of pollution from the brick kilns is significant, particularly in the peri-urban communities of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur where most of the kilns are located.

Impact of air pollution on health
Many of us experience some kind of air pollution-related symptoms such as watery eyes, coughing, or wheezing. Even for healthy people, polluted air can cause respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities. People most susceptible to severe health problems from air pollution are: Individuals with heart disease – such as coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure, individuals with lung disease – such as asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pregnant women, outdoor workers, children under age 14, whose lungs are still developing, athletes who exercise vigorously outdoors. Long term exposure to air pollution can have permanent health effects such as, decrease of lung functions and development to diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and possibly cancer. Few studies done on health impacts of Kathmandu’s air quality have also indicated that, air quality is a major public health risk. In 2005, the Ministry of Population and Environment estimated that ambient air pollution was responsible for up to 1,600 premature deaths in the Kathmandu Valley. A NHRC/WHO study based on the Environmental Burden of Disease (EBD) approach, estimated 1,926 cases of premature death per year (NHRC/WHO, 2009).

Nepal Health Research Council in collaboration with WHO has also conducted research on “Situation Analysis of Ambient Pollution and Respiratory Health Effects in Kathmandu valley” in 2015. According to this report, ambient air pollution is strongly associated with increased number of patients suffering from respiratory disease admitted to hospitals. The reports also showed that children aged below nine and elderly people aged above fifty are most vulnerable towards air pollution. This report has been made public. One of the objectives of this consultation program is also to disseminate the report and put it forward for wider discussion.

Government Initiatives
The government has introduced several policies, legislation and standards related to air pollution. Nepal Constitution 2072 has guaranteed rights regarding clean environment under article number 30. According to this article;
– Each person shall have the right to live in a healthy and clean environment.
– The victim of environmental pollution and degradation shall have the right to be compensated by the pollutant as provided for by law.

RECHEC’s initiation
RECPHEC has been working in field of air pollution and health since many years. RECPHEC has been actively involved to advocate sustainable mode of transportation like walking and cycling which contribute to reduce air pollution. Recently on the occasion of World Environment Day, 2016, RECPHEC participated in a long term coalition of Civil entities, individuals and organizational, under the name Campaign for Clean Air Rights(C-CAR) to ensure governments timely action on the issue. The main objectives were to sensitize the stakeholders about the degrading air quality of Kathmandu valley and to urge the government to implement the existing policies for ensuring the clean environment rights. Under this campaign the team submitted the petition to the concerned ministries and departments draw attention to issues of air pollution for immediate action. And also, it organized public demonstration “Maskmandu” on the periphery of City Hall, Pradarshani Marg.

National Consultation
In this context, RECPHEC organized national consultative meeting in collaboration with Nepal Health and Research Council and Forum for the Protection of Consumers Right with the following objectives:
1. Inform the present status of air pollution in Kathmandu Valley.
2. Critically analyze the health impact of air pollution.
3. Discuss the issue in wider forum to further advocate in the issue.
4. Identify the role of civil society in addressing these issues.

In the meeting, a total of 67 participants were present including representatives from government, civil society, health experts, media, youth volunteers and staff of RECPHEC.

Inaugural session
After the introduction by participants Mr. Shanta Lall Mulmi, Executive Director of RECPHEC, shared that RECPHEC has organized this meeting in collaboration with Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) and technical support from Forum for the Protection of Consumers Right. He shared that air pollution is a sensitive issue in Nepal and NHRC has conducted research on the status of air pollution in Kathmandu city. Mr. Mulmi further added that based on research data and evidence discussion will be held. He stressed the rising pollution in the city should be addressed and role of government, NGOs, civil societies should be reflected and urged all to work together to address the issue.
Key Note Presentation: Air pollution and Health
Dr. Khem Bahadur Karki
Member Secretary, Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC)

Dr. Khem Bahadur Karki shared his presentation on research conducted by NHRC on air pollution and health. According to research, he shared that 23 percent of the world’s population die due to environmental factors. Similarly he also shared that air pollution, water pollution, chemicals, pesticides, climate change are some of the environmental factors which have direct effect on health. Amongst these, air pollution is the most significant contributing factor.

Highlights of the presentation
• Air pollution includes both household pollution as well as outdoor pollution.
• Particulate matter (PM) includes minerals dust, ammonia. nitrates and soot. These chemicals adversely affect human health more than any other known pollutant.
• Sources of air pollution include smoke of different products such as coal, petroleum, industrial as well as fire.
• There is an increasing trend of pollution in the world with 8 percent increment in every 5 years.
• 92 percent of world’s populations live in air polluted areas.
• In Nepal pollution is at its peak during morning and evening hours. While pollution is higher during other months, it is low during rainy season. One third of pollution is due to load shedding.
• Air pollution has direct effect on health. In Nepal it is estimated that 36 out of 1,00,000 people die due to air pollution.
• Cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and cancers are the main diseases caused by air pollution.
• To decrease air pollution, sources of pollution should be decreased, raise awareness on environment friendly initiatives, increase plantation, increase political awareness as well as increase funding from the government to counter the pollution problem in the country.

The key note presentation was followed by remarks from following experts.

i. Mr. Bhola Ram Shrestha, Joint Secretary, MOH:

Dr. Bhola Shrestha shared that the research gave useful information and data on the existing situation of air pollution in Kathmandu. He also gave his remarks that research should be continued such that measures to decrease the pollution will be followed. Dr. Shrestha also shared that awareness should be raised among people in Kathmandu regarding the effects of air pollution in health and people should be encouraged to change their behavior. He committed that MOH will work collectively with stakeholders to minimize the effect of air pollution in the country.

ii. Dr. Bhai Kaji Tiwari, Development Commissioner, KVDA:

Dr. Bhai Kaji Tiwari shared that each stakeholder should collaborate with eachother and control air pollution in Kathmandu. He also voiced that all the government vehicles should be closed down as well as control the movement of private vehicles to minimize pollution. While he added that there is an increased number of vehicles on road, concerned authorities should plan long term model to organize the city in sustainable manner. Dr. Tiwari also shared that people should be educated and make aware about the environmental hazards and steps should be taken to pressurize government in bringing and implementing policy addressing pollution in Kathmandu.

Second Session
Presentation 2:
Air pollution in Kathmandu: Challenges and Opportunities
Mr. Bhusan Tuladhar
UN Habitat

Mr. Bhushan Tuladhar presented his paper on air pollution in Kathmandu, its challenges and opportunities. He shared that outdoor pollution kills about 30 lakh people per year where as indoor pollution kills about 43 lakh people per year. WHO has estimated that 9943 people die due to pollution every year where as World Bank and IHME has estimated 22,038 in Nepal resulting in national economic loss.

Highlights of the presentation:
• Air pollution level in Kathmandu is 9 times higher than the standard maintained by WHO.
• Pollution level in Kathmandu is less than Delhi and Beijing but the current scenario shows that Kathmandu city will be equally polluted in future.
• Vehicles are the primary causes of increased pollution in Kathmandu.
• There is an increased role of stakeholders in controlling air pollution in Kathmandu.
• To control vehicle emission, usage of clean energy, clean vehicles, regular servicing of vehicles, use of sustainable mode of transportation is advised.
• Road expansion is not a solution to control growing number of vehicles in the city.
• Kathmandu’s inner cities were designed as people friendly zones.
• To promote pedestrian rights, different campaigns such as KTM Walks.
• Role of civil society: control household garbage, promote cycling, public transportation, regular servicing of vehicles, raise awareness, pressurize concerned departments and give continuity to advocacy

Presentation 3:
Status and Management of Air Pollution in Kathmandu Valley
Mr. Pradeep Amatya
Senior Environmental Engineer, Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan City

Mr. Pradeep Amatya shared his presentation on status and management of air pollution in Kathmandu valley. He shared that air pollution has become a serious environmental concern and a public health risk in Nepal. Mr. Amatya further added that poor air quality is a result of a number of factors including emissions from various sources, both natural and human cause.
Highlights of the presentation:
• Vehicular exhaust and re-suspended road dust from unpaved and poorly maintained roads are the major sources of air pollution in Kathmandu.
• Unprecedented growth of motor vehicles and ongoing road expansion drive has further degraded the air quality in the valley.
• It is estimated that 63 percent of total PM in Kathmandu valley comes from vehicles and re-suspended road dust.
• Air pollution causes over 9000 deaths every year. 36 out of every 100000 die in Nepal from outdoor air pollution leading to heart diseases, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and stroke.
• Government initiation for air quality improvement: Nepal has prepared national pollution control strategy and action plan draft report and Kathmandu valley action plan for air pollution control.
• Initiative of Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan Metropolitan City for Urban Environmental Management include
 Urban Infrastructure Development Plan
 Urban transport management
 Solid waste management
 Heritage Conservation
 Public Health
 Urban Disaster Management

Presentation 3:
Legal and policy framework in addressing air pollution in Kathmandu:
Mr. Shringa Rishi Kafle
Advocate, Forum for Protection of Consumers Right Nepal

Mr. Kafle shared that environmental protection act 1997 has not defined air pollution. However, it has defined pollution means the activities that significantly degrade, damage the environment or harm on the beneficial or useful purposes of the environment, by changing the environment, directly or indirectly.

Highlights of the presentation:
 Constitution of Nepal, 2072, article 30 describes right to clean environment as fundamental right.
 Every citizen shall have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment.
 The victim shall have the right to obtain compensation, in accordance with law, for any injury caused from environmental pollution or degradation.
 There are different acts, guidelines, rules, manuals, standards related to air pollution.
 Policy formulation should be clear enough to implement the implementation mechanism.
 Focus should be on implementation mechanism of environment law, legislation.

Open Forum
Second session was followed by open forum. Participants shared their views regarding presentations on air pollution in Kathmandu.
1. Dr. Sarita Shrestha, NHRC member: Dr. Shrestha raised the question of expansion of roads in Kathmandu valley and its effect in people’s lives and health. She also shared the civilian’s role especially bike riders, drivers in addressing air pollution in Nepal by abiding rules in the streets. She also suggested that greenery in city should be protected and people should involve in plantation. Further she also added that city planning should be implemented effectively.

2. Mr. Chandra Sivakoti, : Mr. Chandra Sivakoti shared that dignity of people should be respected and protected. He also stressed that every individual should play a role in saving environment.

3. Mr. Baburam Humagain, Forum for Consumer Protection Act: Mr. Humagain shared that media should play a critical role in disseminating information on the existing situation of air pollution and its effect on health to wider population.

4. Ms. Rashu Manandhar, Clean Energy Nepal: Ms. Rashu Manandhar informed about C-CAR, Campaign for Clean Air Rights (Maskmandu) to be held on 20th Jan and invited all the participants to join the programme. She also shared that the programme is being organized by CEN in cooperation with RECPHEC and other like-minded organizations.

5. Ms. Renu Tuladhar, President of AYC: Ms. Tuladhar also shared that each individual should show their responsibility towards environment instead of asking and waiting from government. She also added that school children are made conscious about protection of environment by encouraging them to plantation. She also asked the need of commitment from each individual to minimize the pollution level in the country.

6. Mr. Shail Shrestha. DIGO Bikash: Mr. Shail Shrestha blamed the negligence from government as the key cause for the increased pollution in Kathmandu valley. He added that corruption among people is a threat to increased level of pollution including distribution of green stickers to old vehicles. He encouraged the need of strict law and policy against these trends and assured that youths are ready to challenge for the cause if they received positive support from respective stakeholders.

7. Ms. Anita Timilsina, Forum for Protection of Consumers Right Nepal : Ms. Timilsina shared that People’s right to safe environment is a growing problem in Kathmandu. She also specified that environmental issue should be taken forward, both at national and international level. Further, she also added that there should be separate law addressing pollution and environment in the country.

8. Ms. Shanta Shrestha, Beyond Beijing Committee: Ms. Shanta Shrestha shared that environment possess great threat to people especially children and women. She also added that while Nepal is famous for making plans and policies, it is far beyond in implementing the same and hence suggested that implementation should be the key factor that should be adopted by Nepali society. Ms. Shrestha also shared that Beijing conference platform of action addresses women and environment as the significant sector. She highlighted the role of women in improving environment and thus encouraged to involve women and children throughout the process of addressing air pollution and other environmental issues. She also shared that in SDG environment remains as cross cutting issue and thus highlighted the need of integrated approach for advocacy process. She shared the need of collective, continuous, constant, systematic, strategic process for continuous action.

9. Ms. Padmini Pradhananga, Luzza Nepal: Ms. Pradhananga also shared corruption issue should be addressed for effective implementation of various issues including the air pollution in Kathmandu.

Conclusion: Mr. Shanta Lall Mulmi thanked all the presenters and participants for their presentation and inputs respectively. He also agreed that implementing the policies and plans is crucial to overcome different issues in the country including air pollution. He also shared that the workshop is just a beginning and that it is not organized to tackle all the problems at once. Instead, he said, that the pertaining issue of air pollution in Kathmandu should be addressed effectively through involvement of different stakeholders. While he shared that the data on air pollution in Kathmandu gave clear picture for public debate, he also reminded that the inputs and suggestion from audience has shown dimension for improvement from different perspectives. Hence Mr. Mulmi encouraged all to collaborate together to pressurize the government in improving air quality in Kathmandu as well as, if need be, collaborate with Forum for Consumer Protection Act to take legal action. He concluded that every individual should take action on responsible manner to give better environment for future generation.

National Consultation on
Role of State & Non-State Sector in
Addressing Air Pollution in Kathmandu Valley
January 10, 2017
S.No Name Organization Contact No. Email
1. Sharad Raj Onta RECPHEC
2. Nirmala Thapa SWOG 9841352153 swog@wlink.com.np

3. Rashmi Maharjan CANN/CEN 9841732351 rasmi24m@gmail.com

4. Binita Subedi Clean up Nepal 9849289198 binita.subedi@cleanupnepal.org.np

5. Baburam Humagain FPCR-N 9851087798 brhumgain@yahoo.com

6. Dr. Bhola Ram Shrestha MOH 9855055868 drr.bhola@gmail.com

7. Rajani Dhakal MOH 9841286946
8. Shanta Laxmi Shrestha BBC 9851085996 Sha1951012@gmail.com

9. Renu Tuladhar AYC 9841410366 rssstuladhar@gmail.com

10. Bhushan Tuladhar UHH 9851017819 bhushan.tuladhar@unhabitat.org.np

11. Shail Shrestha Digo Bikash Institute 9852056491 Stha.shail1@gmail.com

12. Shanta Ghimire Consumer forum 9846069404 Sghimire85@gmail.com

13. Bhaikaji Tiwari KVDA 9851075756 bhaikajitiwari@gmail.com

14. Pradeep Amatya LSMC 9851084083 pradeepamatya@gmail.com

15. Prashant Niroula 9841763763 prasant.niroula@gmail.com

16. Kamal Choudhary CCNN 9843369793 kamalkrishnachoudhary@gmail.com

17. Kushum Poudel 9860291937 kushumpaudel11@gmail.com

18. Padmani Pradhananga TIN 9851128242 ppradhananga11@gmail.com

19. Bashu Dev Nyaupane Hamrodoctor.com 9851072375 basu2065@gmail.com

20. Junu Bhattarai Karobar daily 9851020247 / 9813842637 hellowjunu@gmail.com

21. Reecha Aryal Online khaber.com 9841464127 reecha@onlinekhaber.com

22. Laxman Man 9841203835
23. Progya Timalsina Image Channel 9849696613 mepragya77@gmail.com

24. Umesh Pandey NEWAH 9851022789 umeshpandey@newas.org.np

25. Seeta Gurung RECPHEC 9841617591 seeta.gurung@inf.org

26. Anuradha Shrestha CCNN 9843575629 unashrestha101@gmail.com

27. Manisha Ghising CCNN 9823500003 manisha.ghising135@gmail.com

28. Sabina Khanal Thahakhaber.com 9849671465 sabinakhanal32@gmail.com

29. Simrin Kafle IOM 9849643266 simrinkafle@gmail.com

30. Kalpana Poudel RSS 9851270772 kalpu.poudel@gmail.com

31. Bhagabati Timilsina Nepal Samacharpatra 9851061372 bgtimilsina@yahoo.com

32. Neeraj Sand NTV 9841618363
33. Jaya Prasad Poudel PROSECL 9851134077 paudeljayaprasad123@gmail.com

34. Anita Shrestha HTV 9843033772 ashrestha820@gmail.com
35. Sanoj Maharjan NTV 9841567197 sanoj@gmail.com

36. Pranj Mainali Tiwanta Nepal 9845269562 mainalipranj@gmail.com

37. Dr. Sarita Shrestha DMK 9841627150 saritaynr@gmail.com

38. Jyoti Baniya FDCRN 9851058755 jyotiadvocate@hotail.com

39. Sudip Acharya WYCA 9840090459 meeviacae@gmail.com

40. Arjun K. Thapa WYCA 9843150849 rjun.thapa@gmail.com

41. Govinda Raj Oli FPCRN 9851072242 govindaoli2016@gmail.com

42. Rupendra Pd. Shrestha FPCRN 9841355751
43. Mohan Neupane CIF/Nepal 9851097084 neupane_dubak07@yahoo.com

44. Laxman Joshi CWPHO/Eco Corner 9851119173 lajoshi@ecocorner.w.np

45. Satya Narayan Dangol FPCEN 9851006917 dangolsatya@gmail.com

46. Dal Bahadur GC NANGAN 9841491965 nangan@wlink.com.np

47. Udeeptta Rajbhandary FSC Nepal 9841818352 udeep@fscnepal.org

48. Bishnu Pd. Nepal RDN 9751017349 bishnunepal17@gmail.com

49. Rassu Manandhar CEN 9841490301 manamdharrassu@gmail.com

50. Anita Timilsina FPCRN 9848302009 anita46timilsina@gmail.com

51. Shringa Rishi Kafle FDCRN 9841552974 srkafle@gmail.com

52. Madhav Pradhan CWIN 9851035520 madhav.pradhan ………..
53. Bishnu Pd. Timilsina FPCRN 9851248098 timilsina_bishnu@yahoo.com

54. Tritha Maharjan Kindergarden Secondary school 9840050082 tirtha_maharjan2002@hotmail.com

55. Shrijana Maharjan Namuta Collage of 9841502855 sfosshrijana2017@gmail.com

56. Chandra Prasad Siwakoti KSL.LLM 9851031237 siwakoti+chandra@hotmail.com

57. Dr. Khem B. Karki NHRC
58. Indra M. S. Suwal KMC 9851055558 isuwal@gmail.com

59. Pushpa Sharma HTV 9841036090 pushpasharma258@gmail.com

60. Diwakar HTV
61. Manjushree Maharjan RECPHEC 9840098559 manjushree012@gmail.com

62. Chandra Kiran Shrestha RECPHEC 9841348552
63. Shanta Lall Mulmi RECPHEC 9851056303 s_mulmi@yahoo.com

64. Shrijana Bhatta RECPHEC 9841729842 bhatta.shrijana@gmail.com

65. Buddha Ghalan RECPHEC 9841420159
66. Tina Gorkhali RECPHEC tinagorkhali@gmail.com

67. Kamana Manandhar RECPHEC