प्लास्टिक पुनः प्रयोगका कुरा

भर्खर किनेर ल्याएको एक किलो चिनीलाई आमाले ‘चिनी राख्ने गरेको भाँडो’मा खन्याइन् र प्लास्टिक टक्टक्याइन् । मनमनै सोचिन् – “दाल पोको पारेर राख्न काम लाग्छ ।”
केही दिनपछि, खेततिर जान लागेकी आमाले यसो आकाशतिर हेरिन् – “पानी पो पर्ला जस्तो छ, फोन भिज्ने हो कि?” पोल्टाबाट नोकिया ११०० फोन निकालिन् र त्यहि चिनी किन्दा आएको प्लास्टिकमा पोको पारिन् अनि फेरी पोल्टामा हालिन् ।
अर्को दिन, घाँस काट्न जाने बेलामा अलिकति मकै-भटमास ठीक पारिन्, त्यहि चिनी ल्याएको प्लास्टिकमा पोको पारिन् … ।
“जाँतोमा अलिकति दाल पिंधेर ल्याउँछु ।” अर्को दिन दुई माना जति मास त्यहि प्लास्टिकमा पोको पारिन् र पल्लोघरको जाँतोतिर लागिन् ।
“कान्छा, यो खाजा बालाई पुर्याइदे त” – एक दिन तीन चार ओटा पुरी र एक कचौरा तरकारी त्यहि प्लास्टिकमा हालिन् र बालाई खेतमा खाजा पुर्याउन मलाई अह्राइन् ।
थोत्रो हुँदै गएको प्लास्टिक, अनि मेरो अलि उरन्ठेउलो स्वभाव; खेतबाट फर्कँदा रित्तो कचौरा हालेको प्लास्टिक हल्लाउँदै हिंड्दै थिए, कता बुटोतिर अल्झेर प्लास्टिक च्यातियो ।
“आमा प्लास्टिक नै च्यातियो ।”
“गधा ! आफूलाई यहाँ कत्ति सजिलो भा’थ्यो । जतन भन्ने त कैल्यै जान्या छैन ।” एकपटक आमा मुर्मुरिइन् अनि प्लास्टिक लाई खोपा तिर खाँदिन् ।
एकदिन आमाको चप्पलको लोता चुँडियो । खोपाबाट त्यहि च्यातिएको प्लास्टिक निकालिन्, त्यसलाई बटारेर डोरी जस्तो बनाईन् अनि चुँडिएको लोता गाँसिन् ।
वातावरण दिवस मनाउन भनेर गाउँका थरिथरि अपिसका मान्छेहरु जम्मा भए । वातावरण दिवस मनाउनकै लागि यहि क्षेत्रबाट चुनाव जितेका मन्त्रि पनि आए । प्लास्टिकको जस्तै (ठ्याक्कै के को हो चाहिँ खुट्याउन नसके पनि त्यो कपडाको होइन भन्ने आमालाई पक्का थियो) ठूलो तुल (ब्यानर) बोकेर मूलबाटोमा मन्त्रीसंगै एकहुल मान्छेहरु हिंडिरहेका थिए, जहाँ लेखिएको थियो –
—————————————————————–
‘प्लाष्टिक प्रदुषण निर्मूल पारौँ, पुनःप्रयोग गर्न नसके बहिष्कार गरौँ’
विश्व वातावरण दिवस २०१८ (जुन ५, सन् २०१८)
—————————————————————–
आदि आदि …
“प्लास्टिकलाई सकेसम्म पुनः प्रयोग गर्नुपर्छ है आमा । अझ सके त प्रयोग नगरेकै राम्रो” बाटो छेउमा उभिईरहेकी आमालाई त्यहि ब्यानर देखाउँदै तिनीहरुले भने ।
घर आउँदै गर्दा, आमाले चप्पलको लोता जोडेको डोरी नै चुँडिएछ । चुँडिएको प्लास्टिकको डोरी आमाको हातमै थियो । पर्खालको ढुङ्गामा बसेर आमाले अराइन् – “कान्छा, हँसिया फुक्लेको फुक्लेइ गर्ने भा’छ । यो पलास्टिक बालेर त्यो हँसियाको बिडमा हालेर राम्रो सँग ठोक्देन लु त ।”
मैले हँसियालाई बिंडमा ठोक्दै गर्दा आमा भन्दै थिइन् – “कस्तो मज्जाको, ठूलो तुल बनाका र’छन् । बर्खा आउन लाग्या छ, काम सक्केपछी हाम्लाई दिए नि त भैंसीको माच माथि हाल्न हुन्थ्यो 🙂 …।” “तर के दिन्थे होला र !” आमाले आफैं संशय ब्यक्त गरिन् – “अर्को वर्षलाई पनि चाहिँने होला नि !”
आमालाई के हेक्का त्यहाँ लेखिएका तिथीमितीका कुरा !!
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A week of destinationless travel

It all began from Kharkatta village, Madi valley, Chitwan. Maja decided to take some rest as well as start some writings for her report. Maja, an MSc student from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark was doing her field work for MSc thesis, in the Madi valley of Chitwan. I had the responsibility of assisting her. At first the plan was like, to finish the whole field work within a month, or stay for some more days if we didn’t become able to complete our target. But she wished to take a break after two weeks of work. She planned to go to Sauraha and stay there for a week. I had nothing to do (except for a few transcriptions), nowhere to go!

“Should I go to Kathmandu or Pokhara?” I don’t know. I can go anywhere. But I have to go to Bharatpur bus park at first and get a bus, for her, to Sauraha.

February 17

We left Kharkatta at 7:30 and reached the Bharatpur bus park at 11:30. The auto drivers started decreasing their price themselves; we just needed to stand silently for a while. After haggling with one of them for some time, she decided to take an auto rather than bothering to look for buses that would go only to another bus park but not to the hotel she had booked.

But where should I go?

I had made mind to go Pokhara because it had been quite long I hadn’t met my college friends. But the Mugling-Narayanghat road section was closed till 16:00 for maintenance. That meant I had to consume around 4 more hours.

What suddenly came to my mind is – Why not go to Sauraha! The auto was right in front! And I had never been to Sauraha! How lucky me! And I travelled towards Sauraha.

After wandering around Sauraha for about 2 hours, I went to the Pokhara bus park. When I reached there at 15:45, there was only one microbus to Pokhara crammed with people. And the khalasi was saying that was the last bus to Pokhara. Lol, the road opens at 16:00 and the khalasi was saying, at 15:45 that, that was the last bus. More amazingly, there were people who believed. How easily these people believe khalasis! No matter to me even if that was the last one. Because there was nothing that I needed to reach Pokhara the same day. I could stay around there and go Pokhara next day early. So I just waited for another bus.

But it took too long. No sooner had I decided to look for a hotel than the bus came. It came at 17:00. I boarded the bus!

It was obvious that I would reach late. I reached Pokhara at 22:00. Where would I go other than my Institute of Forestry! That is the only reason, that there is this campus, I go to Pokhara. That was that.

February 20

After two days at Pokhara, Professor Santosh Rayamajhi called and asked if I was free for 2-3 days. He only needed a friend to travel to Tansen, Palpa for some of his work. That too in his car.

Why would I deny! I had never been to Tansen. And I was aimless throughout the week!

But he told later that he needed to go up to Tamghas, Gulmi. And the journey to Tamghas began on Feb 21.

February 21

February 22

The whole day, we travelled to remote villages of Gulmi; Isma, Dhurkot, Madane etc.

February 23

The journey back to Pokhara began. We stopped and wandered around Ridi bazaar, Palpa for a while. And in the evening, at Pokhara again.

February 24

Now it was time to go to Madi for work. I had to reach Bharatpur on Sunday, Feb 25. Being unsure if I would stay at Mugling in the evening and start for Bharatpur early next day, I started my journey from Pokhara at around 13:00. Fortunately, I reached Narayanghat the same evening.

And the week-long destinationless travel ended!

February 25

The EPI Report and misunderstanding between #Air Quality and #Air pollution in Nepal

Last week, researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities published a report; the 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking 180 countries. The ranking is based on Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality of each of those countries. The environmental health topic covers three issue categories namely Air quality, Water quality and Heavy metals and the ecosystem vitality topic covers seven issue categories namely Biodiversity and habitat, Forests, Fisheries, Climate and energy, Air pollution, Water resources and  Agriculture; hence a total of ten issue categories. Each of these ten issue categories is, in turn, scored based on one to six performance indicators and there are altogether 24 such indicators.

It is not that the air pollution is the highest in Nepal but that the air quality is the worst

After the report got published, Nepalese media published news stating that Nepal ranks 176th among 180 countries in terms of air pollution. Some ‘mainstream’ called media too published news stating the same. They further stated air pollution as a leading environmental threat to public health. The press release by Yale has clearly stated that air quality is the top environmental threat to public health, not air pollution as most of the news reports in Nepal wrote. They did not note the distinction between air quality and air pollution and wrongly transliterated air quality as air pollution. No doubt that Nepal is ranked at the bottom (180th country) in terms of air quality with a score of 3.94. But the rank of Nepal in terms of air pollution is 87 with a score of 49.58 and the overall EPI rank is 176 with a score of 31.44. (See country report/Nepal)

The performance indicators of air pollution in this study include Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions and Nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions whereas performance indicators of air quality include (Particulate Matters of less than 2.5-micrometer diameter) PM2.5 exposure, PM2.5 exceedance and household solid fuels. The level of PM2.5 we have been hearing generally and exclaiming air pollution level in Kathmandu is the indicator of air quality, not air pollution in this study.

In a nutshell, it is not that the air pollution is the highest in Nepal but that the air quality is the worst.

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Nature khabar

News published in Nature Khabar. They deleted the news after the comment.

 

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News in Kathmandu Post stating AIR POLLUTION as the leading public health threat, citing the EPI report.

 

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News in PHP Nepal copied from the Kathmandu Post.

 

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No clear message in Republica.

 

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AIR QUALITY is the top public health threat according to Yale, not AIR POLLUTION

 

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News in Kantipur daily. I commented but they did not think that it needs to be corrected.

 

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My long comment for the news in the Kantipur daily. They approved the comment but did not correct the news/information.

हावा कुरा….

नेचर खबरमा प्रकाशित, यो लिंकमा पनि उपलब्ध छ – http://naturekhabar.com/ne/archives/8505

जूनकिरीले अतिनै कचकच गर्न थाली । केहि गरिपनि बुझाउन नसकेपछि केहि दिनअघि हेलो सरकारलाई मेन्सन गर्दै ट्वीट नै लेख्नुपर्यो । कुरो के भने, मैले केहि दिनदेखि दिनको दुई खिल्ली चुरोट पिउन थालेको थिएँ । “चुरोटको धुवाँले स्वास्थ्यमा गम्भीर असर गर्छ, मुटु, कलेजो, फोक्सो, रगत के के हो के के लाई नकारात्मक असर गर्छ, चुरोट खान पाउनुहुन्न” भनेर हैरान । “ए बाबा, म काठमाडाैँको धुलोमा चोबिसै घण्टा ढुक्कसँग सास फेरेरै बस्या छु र त अहिलेसम्म ठीकठाकै छु । दिनभरीमा मैले पिउने जाबो दुई खिल्ली चुरोटले के नै असर गर्छ र भन्या” भन्ने मेरो खास कुरो ।

म चुरोटको अम्मली भने होइन । पहिलापहिला, बच्चा बेलामा बाख्रा चराउन जंगल जाँदा, सुकेको पिठौरीको पात माडेर सुर्ती बनाएर, त्यही पिठौरीको पातमा बेरेर बिँडी बनाएर तानेकोलाई अपबाद मान्ने हो भने, मैले कहिल्यै पनि बिँडी वा चुरोट खाएको, पिएको, तानेको त परै जाओस्, सल्काएको सम्म पनि छैन भन्दा हुन्छ ।

हेलो सरकारलाई लेखेको पत्र ठ्याक्कै यस्तो थियो – “डियर हेलो सरकार, हेर्नुस् न, चौबिसै घण्टा काठमाडाैँमा सास फेर्दा त म ठीकठाक छु । दिनभरिमा खाने जाबो दुई खिल्ली चुरोटलाई लिएर जूनकिरी सधैँ कचकच गरिरहन्छे । कसरी सम्झाउने होला, सुझाव पाम् न ।” “काठमाडाैँको धुलोले समेत केहि गर्न नसकेको मान्छेलाई, दिनको जम्मा दुई खिल्ली चुरोटले केहि असर गर्दैन, धेरै कचकच नगर्नु…” भन्दै हेलो सरकारले कम्तीमा, जूनकिरीलाई एउटा पत्र काटिदिन्छ कि भन्ने कत्रो आश थियो । तर अहँ, हेलो सरकारबाट पनि केहि माखो मरेन । सरकारलाई समेत गुहार्न पुगियो हैन? भन्दै उल्टै घरमा रडाको बढ्यो ।

अघिनै भनिसकेँ म बिँडी चुरोटको अम्मली होइन । तर कुरो के भने, सरकारले केहि महिनाअघि एउटा निर्णय गरेपछि मैले पनि, जिन्दगीमा केहि नयाँ अनुभव पनि लिउँ न त, मौका यहि हो भन्ने ठानेर दिनको दुई खिल्ली चुरोट पिउने निर्णय गरेको हो । सरकारको निर्णय के भनेयदि काठमाडाैँको धुलो धुवाँले गर्दा कुनै रोग लागेमा उपचार खर्च सरकारले बेहोर्नेछअनि मनमनै सोचेँ – यदि धुलो धुवाँकै कारणले कुनै रोग लागेमा सरकारले उपचार गरिदिने भएपछि जीवनमा नयाँ अनुभव पनि लिइहालूँ न त । धुवाँकै कारण केहि भएछ भने, यो चुरोटको धुवाँले हो कि काठमाडाैँको हावाको धुवाँले हो भनेर कसलाई के थाहा ? उक्त रोग हावामा भएको प्रदूषणकै कारणले हो भनेर डाक्टरले प्रमाणीत गर्नुपर्ने भएपछि चाहिँ अलि संकोच लागेको थियो तर ती मुला डाक्टरलाई पनि के थाहा मेरो फोक्सोभित्रको धुवाँ चुरोटको हो कि काठमाडाैँको हावाको हो भनेर भन्ने सोचेर ढुक्क भएँ । डाक्टर अलि चलाखै रैछ भने, यस्सो कुरा मिलाउँला नि, कति नै लाग्ला र भन्ने लाग्यो । अनि त्यही दिनदेखि हो मैले दिनमा दुई खिल्ली चुरोट पिउने निर्णय गरेको । तर जूनकिरीको कचकचले हैरान ।

केहि दिनदेखि वातावरणकर्मी भनाउँदाहरु पनि खुब तातेका छन् । जाडोको बेला तात्नु त राम्रै कुरा हो, तर यो कागजमा बल्ड्यांग्रे अक्षरमा कुन्नी के के लेखेर चाहिँ किन दुनियाँलाई देखाउँदै हिँडेका होलान् । त्यसले हावामा भएको प्रदूषण कसरी घटाउँछ भनेर अहिलेसम्म बुझ्या भए मार्दिनु । बरु पोहोरपरार हाम्रा स्वास्थ्यमन्त्रीज्यूले जस्तो यसो पानी सानी छर्केर सडक बढारेको भए केहि हुँदो हो । तर खै, हाम्रा कुरा कसले सुनीदिने र ?
सबका सब जान्नेसुन्ने आजकल त । प्रदुषणको तह सरकारले तोकेको मापदण्डभन्दा धेरै गुणा बढि हुँदा पनि सरकारले केहि गर्न सकेन भनेर कोकोहोलो छ । जूनकिरीले अस्ती घरमै एक लेक्चर दिईहाली । “बाहिर हिँड्दा मास्क लगाउन कहिल्यै नभुल्नु, म घरमा नभएको बेला केटाकेटीलाई धेरै बाहिरतिर डुल्न नदिनु, मर्निगं वाक स्वाक गर्नु पर्दैन, बिहान प्रदूषणकाे मात्रा धेरै हुन्छ…,” के के हो के के । अस्ति छोरोलाई अस्पताल लिएर हिँडेकी थिई, हावा राम्रो छैन भनेर मास्क लगाइदिइछे । डेढ वर्षे छोरो निसास्सीएर झण्डै मरेको ।

प्रिय सरकार, म राम्रोसँग बुझ्छु अरुको कचकच सुन्नु पर्दाको तनाव । तपाईँलाई कस्तो भइरहेको छ भनेर सजिलै अनुमान गर्न सक्छु । त्यसैले, काठमाडाैँको प्रदूषणलाई मापदण्डभित्र राख्ने एउटा अचुक उपाय सुझाएको छु । वायु प्रदूषणको लागि सरकारी मापदण्ड २५० माइक्रोग्राम प्रति घनमिटर भनेर तोकिदिऊँ । त्यति गरिदिने हो भने हावामा प्रदुषणको मात्रा मापदण्डभन्दा कहिल्यै बढि हुन पाउँदैन । अनि न तपार्इँलाई यी वातावरणकर्मीहरुको कचकच सुन्नुपर्ने चिन्ता न मलाई जूनकिरीको लेक्चर । चुरोटबारेको जूनकिरीको कचकच बरु केहि दिनपछि म आफैँ मिलाउँला ।