Clean Energy Nepal together with Clean Up Nepal, YUWA and many other organizations organized “MASKMANDU2.0 : Clean Air Rally cum Talk Program” under I Care for Clean Air Campaign and Campaign for Clean Air Right(C-CAR) with an objective to draw attention of public and government towards the deteriorating air quality of Kathmandu Valley. It was a campaign, demanding our constitutional right to live in a healthy and clean environment as stated in Article 30 in the Constitution of Nepal 2072.
According to report released by World Health Organization (WHO) 2016, the air quality of Kathmandu is five times worse than WHO recommended guidelines. Air pollution is the major cause of environmental and public health crisis in Kathmandu Valley. A study by the Ministry of Population and Environment in 2005 estimated 1600 premature deaths related to air pollution in Kathmandu Valley. It is an undeniable fact that air pollution has high public health cost and economic burden to families and as whole to our nation. According to Yale University Environment Performance Index (EPI) 2016, (hhttp://epi.yale.edu) Nepal is ranked 149 among 180 countries. If we only consider air quality, Nepal is ranked 177. Cities around the world including our neighboring countries are taking stringent action to improve air quality; however we are yet to prioritize air pollution as major public health issues and act accordingly. In this regard, the “Clean Air Rally cum Talk Program” was organized with an objective to draw attention of public and government towards the deteriorating air quality of Kathmandu Valley. Maskmandu2.0 is the extension of Maskmandu.
The rally started from Namuna Machhendra School, Lagankhel to Jawalakhel where more than 250 participants from various government, non-government organizations, schools, colleges, media, vendors and locals participated in the Rally. The rally was followed by Flash mob and talk program. After the flash mob the campaigner acted as dead to symbolize the deadly impacts of air pollution. The Talk program was organized in Jawlakhel ground so that the locals and the interested group could take part in the program. Mr. Bharat Basnet, Chair-person of Clean Energy Nepal expressed that children and youth are the future of the country and the government should ensure clean air for their future. Bhushan Tuladhar, the advisor of CEN facilitated panel discussion. Mr. Pradeep Amatya, Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan City, Lokendra Malla, SP, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Chakshu Malla, Cycle City, Manav Sewa, Local person and Shrinja Rishi Kafle, Advocate was the panelists. The discussion focused on improvement of non-motorized transport, management of air quality and causes of air pollution. Pradeep Amatya said, “If anyone burns waste then they can report in Hamro Lalitpur mobile app.” Mr. Shrinjal Kafle said, “It’s our fundamental right to breathe clean air as stated in our constitution 2072.”