Nepal State of Environment Report: The Monthly Overview, November, 2013

19.6 million people lack access to toilets in Nepal, with devastating consequences, in particular, for the well-being, health, education and empowerment of women and girls, reveals a report published on the World Toilet Day. Read more in this November 2013 edition of the Monthly Nepal State of the Environment Report published by the South Asia Environment Portal. Read and Share. LAND, AGRICULTURE, GRAZING LANDS AND ANIMAL CARE In Nepal, Kanchanpur district’s wheat fields are being lost to ever increasing urbanization and land plotting. According to Nepal Agriculture Development Office, the area under wheat cultivation has dropped to 31,750 hectares from 33,250 hectares five years ago. DAMS Construction work on the Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower Project in Lamjung of Nepal resumed after it reached an agreement with the local residents that precautionary measures would be adopted when conducting explosions and drilling work. The Nepal government will provide $40 million loan (in US dollars terms) to the Kabeli A Hydro Electric project (37.6MW) after receiving the amount from the World Bank. HABITAT The Ministry of Urban Development in Nepal, has started preparing a concept paper on housing cooperatives with an aim to build affordable housing units for lower-middle- and middle-income groups through cooperatives. WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION Five municipalities in and around the Kathmandu Valley will adopt a strategic plan to manage waste in the current fiscal. According to a report published on the occasion of World Toilet Day, 19.6 million people lack access to toilets in Nepal, with devastating consequences, in particular, for the well-being, health, education and empowerment of women and girls. Nepal has been lobbying for international support to improve sanitation and minimise water scarcity in the country in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals on sanitation and water by 2017. HEALTH AND OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS Every year, around 26,000 children die before they reach age 5 in Nepal. In Save the Children's 'Lives on the Line' report, Nepal, has been placed 9th countries ranked according to scores for reducing under -5 mortality, equity and sustainability. HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS A non-government organisation has drawn the attention of the Nepal government towards the mismanagement of asbestos in the Kathmandu Valley. The Centre for Public Health and Environmental Development, in a letter to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, pointed at haphazard handling of the cancer-causing substance during the ongoing road construction work. ENERGY The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is preparing to launch a pilot project for a biogas plant in the Kathmandu Valley. LIVING RESOURCES Actor Leonardo DiCaprio's conservation foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to the World Wildlife Fund to help Nepal increase its tiger population. Nepal's tigers, known as the Panthera tigris, have been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with numbers declining over the years. As many as three houses at Barmajhiya-5 in Saptari district of Nepal were destroyed by wild tuskers.

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