A water quality assessment of 54 different sites in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, revealed that 57 per cent of the water samples were contaminated with faecal coliform. The assessment was conducted by a non-governmental organisation called Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO).
"Of the total samples, 28 per cent are in the 'high-risk' category and 2 per cent fall in the 'very high-risk' category," said Roshan Raj Shrestha, executive director, ENPHO. Seventeen places in the city, including localities such as Bouddha, Battisputali, New Road, Thamel, Panipokhari and Lazimpat, were in the high-risk category, he added.
Owing to a large number of patients suffering from diarrhoea, experts had feared an outbreak of cholera in the city. To remove contamination, the Nepal Water Supply Corporation -- the country's water distribution agency -- treated the water with chlorine. "But of the 54 sites, only four contained an adequate amount of chlorine," disclosed Shrestha. The dilapidated piping network that runs alongside sewer lines is said to be the major cause of contamination. "During this season, over 1300 patients have undergone treatment for diarrhoea-related diseases," said Devendar Bhusal of the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kathmandu.
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