The smog covered Kathmandu is aptly named ‘Dhulomandu.’
These are the things that I do to combat while travelling on the dusty roads of Kathmandu. Feel free to share your tips and tricks on ambient Air Pollution in Kathmandu.
I do not step out of the house without a mask; I become prone to common cold and itchy throat real soon.
Even a thought of a fun-filled bike ride, where cool breeze touches your face, vanishes when you think of dusty roads of Kathmandu.
When travelling by a two-wheeler as a pillion I swear by a mask. I use a surgical mask then use a shawl to cover my face and head except for my eyes. This way I save my hair too.
Yes, I transform my shawl into a balaclava. I agree I don’t look less than a dacoit in a mission, but it’s the need of the hour. By now, I have mastered the art of wrapping my face and tresses with a shawl; (Wondering if it is something to gush about).
Masks with filters are available that claim to filter pollutants. The price range of the masks with filters ranges from a few thousands. If you want, check out the link of Clean Air Nepal, to get an idea about mask with filters; but to clarify, this is not a promotional link!
If you already have been using masks with filters, do comment and share its effectiveness? Well, I am considering switching to masks with filters so your thoughts are appreciated!
Your eyes need protection from the floating dust particles in the air. So, make a point to cover your eyes with sunglasses. If you use power glasses, you can stick to that.
When travelling by a four-wheeler I mostly use a surgical mask. Whether to wrap my face with a shawl or not, depends on the place I am travelling. However, I always carry a shawl just in case I need it.
Do not step out of the house with wet hair. Your damp hair attracts dust significantly more. Sometimes I wonder; what’s the point of taking a shower when you will be receiving one with a gust of dust; upon reaching the main road. (I make a point to stick by this tip but mostly fail to comply.)
I always carry a hand sanitizer with me. It not only keeps your hands germless but a person with an eyesight problem can use it to clean a pair of glasses. Squeeze a small amount of hand sanitizer on your spectacles and wipe it with a clean cloth. You can instantly see the world around you better!
It’s a real problem when you feel dressy and wants to apply make-up. The thought of the dusty roads of Kathmandu compels me to ward off that thought. I keep wondering which road they walk who stroll wearing beautiful makeup. (
The credit of increasing air pollution in Kathmandu goes to the toxic gas emitting vehicles, the eternal Melamchi project, road extensions, and industries operating inside Kathmandu.
There was a time when masks were unheard of but now you cannot step out without one. Times are changing but I have not left the hope of the situation getting better in the future. All we need is being self-conscious and keep raising our voice for the right cause together.