Kathmandu is not an heaven !

Poor man selling shoes on the pavement. Kathmandu, Nepal.

For decades, people ( both nepalese and westerners) have been trying to develop Nepal. Now that Kathmandu ( the capital) has it, some regret the old days.

The problem n°1 is the overpopulation. Indeed, Kathmandu seems to be following other Asian capitals like Bangkok and Delhi, albeit on a smaller scale. Overpopulation is driving a growing rural exodus; new means of communication ( roads and buses) are carrying the landless poor away from their villages, looking for jobs in the Kathmandu valley. Many immigrants land jobs and begin to adapt to this rather modern town. But there is no safety net for those who don’t. They may end up squatting in very primitive conditions and scrounging a living from the rubbish heaps.

While poverty is a perennial problem in the valley, “prosperity” is creating new problems : traffic, air pollution, drinking water supply, garbage, social tensions, crime. If valley inhabitants are prepared to accept these problems as the price of progress, many worry about the future. What will be the effects on their children of growing up breathing air, drinking water and eating food that is not only contaminated with germs but also laced with chemicals and heavy metals ? Will they be haunted by elevated levels of cancer, birth defects and allergies ?

About travelerreport

My blog is all about travelling and photography
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