«His Majesty's Government Ministry of Population and Environment Kathmandu, Nepal June 2000 Ministry of Population and Environment 1 State of the ...»
On an average, the annual energy consumption pattern is approximately 92 per cent of fuelwood, including biomass, 7 per cent fossil fuel and 1 per cent electricity out of 0.285 million Gj (WECS, 1996; Table 2.6.1). There are significant differences in the trend of utilisation of different energy source. Commercial energy consumption has grown rapidly in comparison to traditional fuel. The per centage share of fuelwood is estimated to have reduced from 73 per cent in 1984/85 to 69 per cent in 1994/95, while the use of electricity increased from 0.53 GWh to 0.99 GWh per cent during the same period. Per capita generation of 54 kWh and the per capita consumption of 61 kWh in the fiscal year 1997/98 are nominal figures in the present age of energy utilisation. Electricity generation over the last few years indicates an average growth rate of 4.48 per cent, while consumption is growing at an average of 7.62 per cent. Thus far nearly 0.55 million households have received electricity.
The sectoral energy consumption trend and percentage share of energy consumption for the period of 1984/85 to 1994/95 is presented in Annex 6.
The share of domestic sector in the total energy consumption has gradually declined from 93 per cent in 1984/85 to 91 per cent 1994/94, whereas the energy consumption in the industrial sector has nearly doubled during the same period.
In the commercial sector, energy is being consumed at an increasing rate of 15 per cent per annum and in the transport sector it has increased by 10 per cent annually within the same period. Similarly, energy consumption by the agricultural sector has increased from 0.14 to 0.71 per cent in this decade (WECS, 1996).
Biogas is also used as a dependable alternative source of energy in rural areas. Biogas development is being promoted by both the government and NGO sector. In 1998/99, over 9,800 biogas plants were installed, of which over 7,000 plants were established under the loan investment from Agriculture Development Bank (MOF, 1999). Biogas generation and its use is gaining importance in the Terai and the valleys where temperature variation favours its development.
The present scenario of energy supply and demand in the country depicts an unbalanced picture. Heavy dependence on firewood coupled with the high population growth rate is exerting a continuous pressure on forests.
The Water and Energy Commission Secretariat estimated the deficit in fuelwood supply to be 6.6 million tons during 1996. According to the Master Plan for the Forestry Sector the total biomass fuel consumed in 1985/86 was about 11.3 million tons, which increased to 14.1 million tons in 1995/96. With the exception of the Far West Development Region, fuelwood deficit prevails all over the country (HMG/ADB/FINNIDA, 1988).
The deficit is likely to be met either by reducing consumption, by overcutting the accessible forests, or increasing the use of agricultural residue and dung. Over-cutting of trees will further contribute to the expansion of shrub areas. On the other hand, diversion of agricultural residues and animal dung from field manure to household cooking fuel will progressively deplete nutrients in farmlands. Moreover, burning such fuel adds to indoor air pollution.
Primary sources of energy in Nepal are fuelwood and biomass. Fossil fuel utilising sectors such as transport, industry, agriculture and other commercial establishments have a share of 7 per cent only. Despite a huge hydropower potentiality in the country, its share is less than 1 per Ministry of Population and Environment 48 State of the Environment Report, 2000 cent. Development of hydropower by the government and private agencies is being accelerated to bridge the widening gap between electricity demand and supply. The private sector is implementing the Khimti and the Upper Bhotekoshi hydropower projects with an installed capacity of 60 MW and 36 MW respectively (Box 2.3). HMG is also encouraging implementation of micro hydropower projects in the hill districts through local private investors. Both government and private institutions are involved in promoting this technology. Yet, despite various efforts, rural people will continue to depend on traditional sources of energy and its impact on forest, land system and human health will likely continue, at least for the near few years. However, the present policy of involving the private sector in hydro-power development will help generate surplus power and open new avenues for sectoral development. It will also reduce the heavy dependence of the people on the forest.
2.7 Solid Wastes Prior to 1950, solid wastes were locally managed in the urban areas, including the Kathmandu Valley. Almost all the wastes were used as organic manure. In due course of time, significant change in the both volume and character of the wastes generated led to haphazard disposal and dumping in nearby open spaces. This practice is on the increase in the municipal areas. At present, solid waste management in both industrial and domestic sectors has been a cause for great concern in urban areas of Nepal. In Kathmandu Valley, the Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilisation Centre (SWMRMC) - established in mid-1980s - with assistance from GTZ initiated collection, segregation at transfer stations, transportation and final disposal in the sanitary landfill site at Gokarna.
Even now, municipal solid wastes of the Valley are collected, transported and disposed off through institutional efforts of both the SWMRMC and the Municipalities. However, solid waste management still poses a problem in Kathmandu Valley.
Ministry of Population and Environment 49 State of the Environment Report, 2000 Solid waste composition and generation is an outcome of economic activities of the households. Literature based on estimation and sample surveys in Kathmandu indicate the waste generation rate to vary from 0.25 to 0.45 kg/person/day. Three-fourth of the wastes is organic or biodegradable (Table 2.7.1). An estimate also indicates over 550 cubic meters of waste generation in the Kathmandu Valley. Another study noted that more than 90 per cent of the Valley inhabitants are willing to pay service charges for waste removal provided the management system is effective (Thapa and Devkota, 1999) (Annex 7).
A sample survey of 31 private hospitals in Kathmandu Valley revealed hospitals to generate 191 kg of wastes per day (IIDS,1997). Generation of wastes in the health institutions is approximately 5.71 kg per patient per day, out of which nearly 30 per cent is hazardous by nature. Due to lack of separate provisions for managing such wastes, they are mixed with municipal refuse.
In Nepal, organic wastes were traditionally reused for agriculture production by composting the household wastes. Segregation of municipal wastes and composting was later introduced in an urban waste management exercise. In 1986, the SWMRMC established a sizeable plant with a capacity of producing 30 tons of compost a day in an area of 1.8 hectare. Local farmers purchased the manure produced at a subsidised rate of NRs. 250/ton. This activity was later stopped due to its proximity to a heavily populated urban area (Teku). Bhaktapur is now the only municipality which has a compost plant in operation with an installed capacity of 5 tons a day. Some community-based organisations (CBOs) have also started to operate small-scale compost plants for demonstration purposes and are presently disseminating the message that "waste has a value".
Efforts on recycling and reuse of wastes have also been initiated and are
promoted by the government and non-government sectors. For example:
?? Farmers are using restaurant wastes to feed their pigs and cattle;
?? Butchers are producing organic manure from the slaughter wastes, including bones;
?? Used paper is recycled by a number of industries; and ?? Some factories have metal, glass, plastic and rubber recycling facilities.
The solid waste management problem experienced in Kathmandu Valley is also being increasingly faced by other municipalities such as Pokhara, Biratnagar, Birgunj and Nepalgunj. The problems that have surfaced are also multifaceted because of the change in v olume and character of the waste generated, inadequate technology transfer and adoption, and lack of public awareness. Lack of waste management skill has further compounded the issue.
Most of the wastes generated in Nepal can be reused and/or recycled. In general, two-thirds of the waste comprises organic matter which has economic value. This has attracted the attention of some waste recycling industries, which should be promoted by encouraging resource recovery schemes and policies. A recent policy for inviting the private sector for municipal waste management could encourage their involvement in solid waste management and resource mobilisation. Introduction of a mechanism for compost making, recycling of waste into useful by-products, decentralisation of waste collection services, waste segregation and proper management, including the hazardous wastes, could contribute to changing the present situation.
2.8 Air and Water Pollution 2.8.1 Air Quality Change in the quality of outdoor and indoor air is an emerging concern in both urban and rural areas of Nepal. Air pollution, which occurs from natural as well as anthropogenic activities, is an outcome of various Ministry of Population and Environment 51 State of the Environment Report, 2000 sources of pollutant, its dispersion and receptors. An example of a natural process is the seasonal dust storm in the valleys. Anthropogenic activities have been largely responsible for changes in the air quality in both urban and rural areas. Some major sources of such pollution are vehicular and industrial emissions, and combustion of biomass and fossil fuels.
In the rural areas heavy indoor air pollution is caused by the combustion of biomass in the poorly ventilated kitchen rooms. The emission of pollutants from the combustion of traditional biomass in open cooking-stoves, particularly in poorly ventilated kitchens, has its own implications on human health. Bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory problems are common among rural women and children. Furthermore, a statistically strong association of chronic bronchitis and decline in lung function has been reported due to burning of biomass fuel (Pandey et al, 1985). People of the Hills and Mountains suffer from these health problems frequently.
Meanwhile, vehicular emission is the major cause for the deteriorating air quality in the urban areas where vehicular emission is much aggravated by substandard or adulterated fuel, narrow and poorly maintained streets, poor traffic management, old vehicles and poor vehicular maintenance.
More recently conditions have deteriorated due to heavy vehicular traffic in major towns such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar and Birgunj.
In the process of developing the country's infrastructure, primary attention has been given to the road sector. Since the formation of the first elected government in 1959, His Majesty's Government of Nepal (HMG/N) has given top priority to the expansion of roads. The total road length in the country has increased from 624 km in 1956 to 13,400 km in 1998.
However, during the monsoon season landslides and floods heavily affect the roads. Furthermore, despite the development in the road sector the increasing number of vehicles, along with the vehicular registration in Nepal, reveals the total number of vehicles to have nearly doubled within half a decade. Concentrations of these vehicles in some particular area have further worsened the impact on roads. Although the exact number of vehicles plying in different parts of the country is unavailable due to lack of statistics about the numbers of vehicles which have been junked, the capital city of Kathmandu alone comprises nearly 50 per cent of the total vehicles registered in Nepal. Various efforts to control vehicular pollution have been implemented. A vehicular colour rating system with respect to the exhaust emission standards has been introduced by HMG/N In 1995.
This system provides green stickers to vehicles meeting the emission standard and red stickers to vehicles failing the test. As of Mid-April 2000 Ministry of Population and Environment 52 State of the Environment Report, 2000 nearly 0.136 million vehicles have been tested. Of them, over 30 per cent failed to comply with the standard. In 1996, HMG tested the vehicles by introducing the standard of 3 per cent CO for petrol vehicles and 65 per cent HSU for diesel vehicles. In 1998, this standard was revised to 4.5 per cent CO to petrol operated-four wheelers manufactured before 1980 and 3 per cent CO to such vehicles manufactured after 1981. In case of dieseloperated vehicles, 75 per cent HSU was introduced for all diesel vehicles manufactured before 1994 and 65 HSU for vehicles after 1995.
Among the vehicles, buses, trucks, tempos and two stroke motorcycles are probably the most significant contributors of air pollution. Based on vehicle exhaust emission test, it clear that about one-third of the vehicles tested failed to comply with the existing standards (Annex 8). Vehicles in Kathmandu Valley alone use 79 per cent of gasoline and 27 per cent of diesel oil imported in the country.
The ambient air quality in Kathmandu indicates that with the exception of total suspended particle (TSP) and particulate matter (PM10), other criteria pollutants are well below the WHO guidelines (Table 2.8.1). Based on the amount of TSP within the Valley atmosphere, available data indicates winter days to be more polluted than summer days. Industries also play a major role in increasing the load of air pollutants. An industrial pollution inventory carried out by the Industrial Pollution Control Management Project (IPCMP) indicated a total of 3,156 air polluting industries emitting almost 76,400 tons of TSP matter annually (Devkota & Neupane, 1994). In general, the TSP load within the Kathmandu Valley atmosphere emitted from medium and large sized industries is estimated to be 104 tons per day. A recent IPCMP survey on stack emission from selected industries indicated that industrial resource losses through the top of the stacks were up to 10 per cent in case of liquid fuels utilising boilers (Devkota, 1997; and Table 2.8.2).