Nepal Air Quality Index Pings Alarming Proportion

Amidst the resurrection of the COVID-19 virus, Nepal is on the brink of facing yet another health hazard. With the start of a new year, people were hopeful as the most awaited coronavirus vaccine finally started to make its way into the country. Soon that hope was looking shaking with the air pollution in Nepal.

However, the high hopes quickly tumbled as the state went on a high alert after an alarming change in the weather condition. Suddenly, within a day, a thick layer of smog covered the capital city Kathmandu. In a matter of hours, the sun rays were completely blocked and the days started becoming gloomy

The Worsening Air Pollution in Nepal (AQI)

While the air quality was always a matter of concern in Nepal, it had never been so out of proportion. Starting from Monday 29 March 2021, the conditions got worse. A thick layer of fog covered most of the region including Kathmandu. According to nepalitimes the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached above 500 which was the highest ever registered.

A thick layer of smog covers the city of Kathmandu (Credit:

The repercussions followed as concerns regarding respiratory illness followed. Soon the concerned authorities were called into action but in vain. No immediate action was implemented as the government watched the worsening air pollution in Nepal hopelessly.

Cause Of The Worsening Air Quality & Its Impact

As for the sudden degrading quality, the contributing factors were obvious. The wildfire season in Nepal came early and the impact was massive. Also, the emissions from vehicles, careless factories, unmanaged waste management, and ever-running construction work helped the cause.  

The impact, schools were shut down for four days all over the nation. While many educational organizations followed the protocol some opted to continue as the syllabus was already running late following the repercussions of COVID.

However, after three days of panicking situations, a brief drizzle of rain graced the country. The thick smog slowly started to clear and sun rays started to penetrate through. Despite a short scare, the incident was an eye-opener for the government as well as the people. 

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