Nepal’s water crisis is directly related to the country’s deteriorating environment.In capital Kathmandu, many areas don’t get water for six days a week, and are forced to either buy water through dealers or have to rely on local wells and rivers-whose water quality is not monitored.

The dealers collect water from rivers just outside Kathmandu city, which are polluted and are used sewage dumping points. Sand dealers illegally mine these rivers which has caused un-natural depths in various points along the river causing water stagnation-which has affected water quality and clarity.

As the government is pre-occupied with never ending cycle of in-fighting and political turmoil in the country, taking care of the environment is an after thought.

There is little effort to make Kathmandu green-deforestation is surrounding hills and also rapid urbanization within the city has turned Kathmandu into a gray barren land filled with unplanned housing and businesses.

In villages across the country, the issue is not water but clean water. Villagers largely rely on rivers,wells and pond for water supply as water supply in these areas is not managed through an agency-private or public.

Water quality monitoring is an alien concept in these areas and every year hundreds get sick because of waterborne illnesses. During the monsoon season, diarrhea is a common occurrence as the water sources are polluted by sludge carried downstream down by the rain.

All this misery about water in Nepal is entirely preventable and also manageable if only the people and government work together to make access to clean water a priority issue. Nepal’s government has to make clean water a human right and act accordingly.

Previously posted at Think About It Climate Change.

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