Post-Earthquake Relief

On 25th April, 2015, an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude and multiple aftershocks devastated Nepal leaving millions of Nepalese homeless, and thousands dead. PNMF immediately rallied volunteers to support victims in nearby villages (Bhaktpur and Khawa, Dhulikhel).

Fortunately no lives were lost in Kalintar, but the village was devastated.  60 homes were destroyed, and most villagers are living on open ground under tents due to fear of additional building collapses from aftershocks.  Many families lost all of their belongings and food supplies in the destruction and are in need of food, shelter, and medicine.

In response to Kalintar’s needs, PNMF gathered a 20-member volunteer relief team to distribute some immediate relief supplies.

  • Rice: 25 kg
  • Pulses: 2 Mugs
  • Salt: 1 Packet
  • Sugar: 2 Mugs
  • Chiura: (beaten rice)
  • Dettol(topical anticeptic): 1750ml bottle

Food Kits were distributed to the 60 families in Kalintar who lost their homes.

  • Dal: 200 kgs
  • Tent: 68 pcs
  • Bitten Rice: 60 Kgs
  • Mineral Water: 360 Ltr

 

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Estimating The Public Preference For Air Quality Improvement And Understanding The Health Effects Of Exposure To Air Pollution In Siddharthanagar Munipality, Nepal

Smoking

The air quality measuring devices installed in 2017 and 2018 by the Nepal Study Center (NSC) and Pratiman Neema Memorial Foundation (PNMF) provide evidence that the air in Siddharthanagar municipality is highly polluted. There is currently a huge burden on the municipality to address the problem of air pollution, which has posed a serious threat to the public health and welfare. However, due to the lack of research, there is no ample understanding of the health effects of air pollution in the municipality. Additionally, there is no vivid understanding of public attitude towards improving the air quality in the municipality. In June 2019, a research team from UNM conducted a field study in Siddharthanagar municipality of Nepal. The study has three main objectives. First, it examines the health effects of exposure to air pollution based on proximity to pollution sources such as paved/unpaved roads, factories, etc. The study uses lung capacity as a biomarker of respiratory health. During the field survey, respondents’ lung capacity was measured using a device called Spirometer. Second, the study examines public preferences for air quality improvement in the municipality by estimating households’ willingness to pay for the improvement using the survey-based contingent valuation method. Third, the study estimates the economic cost of air pollution in Siddharthanagar municipality based on the expenditure on air pollution related illness treatment and the opportunity cost of illness measured in terms of lost working days. We envision that the findings of this study will help policymakers in designing interventions and policies to address the problem of air pollution in the municipality.

Research Team Investigators and Collaborative Team: Project Team consisted of Dr. Alok K. Bohara (Professor, Department of Economics, UNM; Director, NSC), Mohammad Mashiur Rahman and Niraj Khatiwada (Doctoral students, Department of Economics, UNM). The project was funded by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), ICIMOD through our local collaborator, Pratiman Neema Memorial Foundation (PNMF). We acknowledge the support provided by our collaborating institution PNMF and its research team (Ms. Swati Thapa, Mr. Prakash Rayamajhi, Mr. Dharma K. C., Mr. Anup Poudel, and Sharada Pathak). We would also like to express our gratitude to our field supervisor (Mr. Krishna Neupane) and enumerators.

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Estimating the preference for a better solid waste management system: A case of Siddharthanagar Municipality, Nepal

solid waste

The immense pressure on cities from this emerging population creates an unfavorable condition to society and environment especially from an upward shift of household waste production. Illegal dumping beside the river and roads, shortage of municipality resources of collection, and a lack of awareness have a great negative impact on the overall ecosystem mostly incurred by water and air pollution. Siddharthanagar municipality is experiencing faster growth in population leading to a huge burden of unmanaged waste from the lack of resources by the municipality. However, with this current situation, no research has been done to understand the preference and the opinion towards waste management system by the households which is crucial to design a better waste management service. To fill this gap of information from the household level, a group of UNM researchers conducted a survey on household’s waste management behavior, preference, and willingness to pay in June 2019. This research has two main objectives. First, This research is expected to provide information on households current waste management behavior and production as well as their perspective towards engaging in better waste management techniques. Second, this will provide households willingness to pay to the municipality to develop the characteristics (dumping, recycling, composting, etc.)  of better waste management service. Overall, this will help the administrative personnel to formulate policy after accounting for the household’s preference.

Research Team Investigators and Collaborative Team: Project Team consisted of Dr. Alok K. Bohara (Professor, Department of Economics, UNM; Director, NSC), Mohammad Mashiur Rahman and Niraj Khatiwada (Doctoral students, Department of Economics, UNM). The project was funded by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), ICIMOD through our local collaborator, Pratiman Neema Memorial Foundation (PNMF). We acknowledge the support provided by our collaborating institution PNMF and its research team (Ms. Swati Thapa, Mr. Prakash Rayamajhi, Mr. Dharma K. C., Mr. Anup Poudel, and Sharada Pathak). We would also like to express our gratitude to our field supervisor (Mr. Krishna Neupane) and enumerators.

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Public Preference For River Ecosystem Services In The Danda Basin, Nepal: A Choice Experiment Study

Bahunepati

Freshwater systems have historically been the linchpin of urban centers; however, they are also considered to be one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. This paper develops a choice experiment method to assess the potential for a sustainable management of a freshwater system, the Danda River, in Nepal. We use a primary survey data from 637 households, and the empirical analysis is conducted using the Generalized Multinomial Logit (GMNL) model.

The findings indicate substantial demand for the river ecosystem services. Respondents were willing to pay (WTP) $17.06/year on average for the highest quality of river water and $13.46/year to introduce vegetation in the riverbanks. Our analysis incorporates the respondents’ preference uncertainty, and we also explore the presence of spatial heterogeneity using the hot spot analysis. We find the inclusion of preference uncertainty increased the precision of the marginal willingness to pay estimates, while the hot spot analysis indicates that heterogeneity in preferences for the ecosystem services surfaces from an urban center. We also observe that the public prefers community-based management of the Danda River, which highlights the need for policymakers to decentralize their management to the local communities so as to enhance interest in conservation of common pool resources like river ecosystems.

Funding agency: Open Society Foundation

Graduate Student: Samrat Kunwar

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Adapting to climate Change: wise water management for urban and rural resilience

A twelve days international workshop was conducted by PNMF in collaboration with Wageningen University, Netherlands and IHE deft institute for water education named Adapting to climate Change: wise water management for urban rural resilience in Rupandehi province -5. Twenty-one participants participated in the workshop from 11 different countries. The core theme of the workshop was to work on Danda river basin of Siddharthanagar and work on mitigating and adapting factor on climate change. The workshop was focused on waste management.

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Finance- An Essential Ingredient in Recipe of Business

PNMF organized a workshop to the women in the community in collaboration with Heritage Business School, Kolkata on Finance- an Essential Ingredient in Recipe of Business on 11th April 2019. The program was an open discussion which was led by Prof. Dr. Anup K. Sinha (director of Heritage Business School). In that particular programs, there were Professors, stake holders, government officials and journalist. There was fruitful discussion on this topic to create healthy financial practice of this region and the state as a whole.

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Women Entrepreneurs: “Women And Entrepreneurship” Potential, Power And Profits”

PNMF organized a workshop to the women in the community in collaboration with Heritage Business School, Kolkata on entrepreneurship from 9th April 2019 to 11th April 2019. The training was given by Dr. Reemu Chaudhuri. In that workshop women were educated to become entrepreneur and start their own business.

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Hollis, Kaitlin And Griffin Volunteering In PNMF

Eco artist Hollis and Kaitlin came to PNMF in February 2019. A DEMP volunteer Grifin was also in the team. During their one month stay in PNMF they developed the biological water filtration system, citizen science tool kit. They also developed the curriculum for citizen science experiment regarding enumeration of terrestrial surface insects, rainfall measurement using rain gauze, enumeration of terrestrial plants. Chelsea, (environment artist and photographer) joined the team who conducted the photography training to the eco-club students.

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