Pollution is killing

Published On: March 12, 2018 02:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Rising threats of air, water pollution 

A report on Air Pollution Control says 35,000 Nepalis lose their lives from air pollution every year. This is a disturbing number. Air pollution causes lung cancer, heart attack and other cardiac diseases. The ongoing road construction and other construction projects are making air pollution worse in our cities. Moreover, excessive use of chemical fertilizers by farmers and in fishing is polluting rivers, endangering aquatic life. According to a decade-long registry of cancer patients who come for treatment at BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Chitwan, farmers are most numerous among cancer patients. There is a correlation between increased use of pesticide in farming and the rise of cancer in farmers. 

A report from Tikapur says animals like Dolphins and Crocodiles have been affected by the chemicals used in fishing and farming. Rainwater and other sources carry the chemicals used in farming into river streams, and the whole system then becomes toxic. Due to chemicals present in the water system, the number of fish, dolphins and crocodiles in Karnali River has decreased. We must seriously think of ways to protect and preserve our natural ecosystem. If the system is disrupted, our life will also be disrupted. We must also be ready for radical solutions to rid off unwanted chemicals in our agriculture. In order to build a greener economy, Bhutan is aspiring to go wholly organic by 2020. These are the lessons to be learned from Bhutan’s initiatives to protect and harness the nature for the good. While there have been sporadic initiatives for organic farming, the country as a whole must dedicate all efforts to make sure that our agricultural farms and produce are free of chemicals. These chemicals will have lasting impact on not just in our lives but also on Mother Nature. 

Vegetables at Kalimati collection center were once randomly checked for chemicals, but that practice has long been abandoned. We must work to institute a proper system to enforce rules like these so that everyone involved in the process follows them. Rampant use of chemicals in farming and other areas must be checked before it’s too late. We are already seeing the trailer of what might come if we do not choose to take action against chemical use in our agriculture. The demand for organic produce is growing both at home and abroad. Farmers and the public should be better educated on the hazards of the use of chemicals in farming. More importantly, school children must be educated on the issue from early on. They will be the most effective ambassadors to carry on the message of the deadly use of chemicals in our farms and the surrounding. We have already started to face the consequences of air and water pollution in everyday life. Neglecting this deadly threat will be suicidal. 



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