We have given enough space to politics all the time. But this week will be a break. The looming drinking water crisis deserves a close look. For many years, we have been harping on the slogan of ‘water for all’. Yet, half the population of Nepal goes without safe drinking water. Despite the government claim that 80 percent of the population has access to water, the quality of water has always been questionable. Diarrhea, caused by contaminated water, continues to be a major killer of poor people in the country. Every year, April and May create a havoc in far and mid west. Diarrhea took epidemic proportions there just the year before. In the midst of political instability and chaos, water quality and its consequences were simply drowned out. The cover article, along with related pieces, assesses the situation.
Another concern of growing public interest after the major earthquake in Japan is Nepal’s preparedness for a similar disaster. Situated in an active quake zone, Nepal should learn lessons from Japanese people and government preparing for and coping with quakes. As scientific community has the habit of predicting a major quake as due for our part of the world, we have taken up this topic to assess how well prepared we are. In Kathmandu valley, a major quake, experts argue, may kill more than half a million people. Japan is gradually recovering from the devastating earthquake and nuclear plant accident caused by it. We are with the government and people of Japan at this critical juncture and wish for return of early normalcy in that country.