Nepal government has ordered to close all educational institutions for the next four days. The decision was made as Kathmandu and other major cities of Nepal have seen a massive deterioration of air quality since last Wednesday with smoke and haze covering the skies. Flights serves were also disrupted due to poor visibility in Kathmandu.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said that the increasing levels of air pollution could adversely affect the children’s health. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Education, a meeting, chaired by Education Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha, took the decision to close down all education institutions owing to the rising air pollution and its possible impact on children’s health. Education ministry spokesman Deepak Sharma said that about eight million students have been affected by the closures.
The pollution levels hit the highest in the capital in recent times. Dust from construction works, exhaust from old, poorly maintained vehicles, and smoke from coal-burning brick kilns blend in a murky haze that hangs over Kathmandu. Environmentalists said that ranging wildfires are also a reason for the rising air pollution across the country.
According to experts, air pollution raises the risk of cancer, stroke, asthma, and high blood pressure. The health ministry urged the people to stay safe indoors and not come out except for emergencies.
Nepal, with a population of 30 million people, is located in the Himalayas between China and India. Air pollution has become a severe problem in the rapidly growing city of Kathmandu. This is posing an additional problem for the government that is struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.