Impact of Poor Quality Water on the Health of the Population
In researching the Bagamati River, I became interested in the impact waterborne diseases had on people that interacted with the water at a physical level. My research focused on the vicinity of the Pashupatinath Temple area where the impact of cremation ceremonies and the indiscriminate dumping of sewage and garbage has rendered the river slow-moving and disease-ridden. The constant migration of people into slum areas along the riverbanks has increased pressure on the river so that the natural ecosystem has been almost irreversibly damaged and most of aquatic life destroyed. The continuous quarrying of sand from the river bed for use in construction projects, conducted despite laws that prohibit such activity, has negatively impacted the ability of the river to cleanse and renew itself.
Map of Bagamati River running through Kathmandu Valley showing the relationship between poor drainage, waterborne diseases and concentration of temples. A red outline box highlights the Pashupatinath Temple area.