Jane Wilson-Howarth

Blog

 
 

    Pontifications
    Travel
    Wildlife
    Writing
#righttobreathe / 100 word story / 100-word story / 50 Camels / 50 Camels and She's Yours / A Glimpse of Eternal Snows / A Wide Woman on a Narrow Boat / Aberdeen / Active Fairness System / age concern / air pollution / air quality / alcoholism / Alicia Ostriker / ANM / Annapurna / anthology / author / Author from Hull / author interview / Auxiliary Nurse Midwife / Baglung / Bagmati / Bajaj / Bajaj Pulsar / Bajura / banknotes / BBC Radio Cambridgeshire / bear precautions / Bertrand Russell / Bhotang / bike trip / birdlife / birds / black bear / black kites / black pine forest / Blue sheep / book launch / border guards / Boreal Wildlife Centre / Bradt / Bradt Travel Guides / Brahmin / breakfast / bridge / brown bear / buckwheat / buckwheat bird / buffalo cart / bulbul / camaraderie / Cambridge / Cambridge writers / camping hazards / canals / carcinogens / caste / catastrophe / celtic / chaite-dhan / Chele / childbirth / children's books / Chirang / Chisapaani / Chisapani / Chobhar / Chobhar Hill / Chough / climate change / clinics / cold desert / colourful hat / comfort / cows / cyclist / dal bhat / dangerous wildlife / demonstration / Department of Roads / desert / development / development work / Dhading / Dhading besi / Dhaulagiri / Dhee / dhulomandu / Dolpa / Dolpo / domestic violence / Dr. Katrina Butterworth / dragon / dragons / Drakmar / droppings / Dunai / dust / early marriage / earthquake / earthquake alarm / earthquake damage / earthquake today / East Anglia / eco-resort / eco-tourism / Edinburgh / embankments / emergency / English journey / English language / environmental crisis / Eräkeskus / eternal snows / evacuation / Ewell / exploitation / Fagu Purnima / Falgun / feelgood read / festival / festival of colour / festivals in March / fiction / Finland / fire-tailed sunbird / fishing / fishtail / flash fiction / flash literature / flash prose / flood protection / floods / footbridge / footpath / forest / Gai Tihar / Ganesh himal / Gangestic Plain / Gangetic Plain / Ghami / Ghemi / ghoral / giant crab spider / giving birth / global warming / goodread / goral / gorge / Gorkha / GP writer / grey-headed canary-flycatcher / hangry / happiness / happyness / hare / health assistant / Heffers / Heffers bookshop / Hell's Grannies / himal / Himalaya / Himalayan Black Bear / Himalayan Goral / Himalayan griffon vulture / Himalayan Hostages / Himalayan Kidnap / Himalayan serow / Himalayan Sunrise / Himalayan woolly hare / Himalayas / himals / Hindu festival / Hindu kingdom / Holi / Holi Purnima / home delivery / honey buzzard / hoopoe / hot springs / Hotel Deep of Worldtop / Hotel Peace Palace / house crows / human kind / human spirit / idyllic childhood / Indra Jatra / Ireland / irrigation / jackal / Janajibika Hotel / Jane Wilson-Howarth / Jomosom / Jomsom / jungle / Juphal / Kaag Beni / Kag Beni / Kali Gandaki / Kali Gandaki gorge / Kalopani / Kalunki / Karnali River / Kashigaon / Kashigoan / Kathmandu / Kathmandu Valley / Katrina Butterworth / khana / Khartoum / kickstart / kidnap / kindness / Kolkata / Krishna / Kumari / Kurentar / Kusma / labour / lama / Lamjung himal / lammergeier / lammergeyer / landscape / landslide / landslides / largest tribuary of the Ganges / Laxmi Puja / leave no one behind / leave no-one behind / life lessons / living goddess / LoMantang / London pigeon / loneliness / Lord Ganesh / Lord Krishna / loss and recovery / love / Lukhu river / Machhapuchare / Makwanpur / Manbu / mani wall / Martinselkosen / Mary Kingsley / masala tea / maskmandu / maternal mortality / Maya and the Dragon / medical emergency / medical evacuation / medical Students / Melamchi / Michael Rosenberg / microfiction / Middle Hills / mineral water bottles / morning mist / Moth Snowstorm / motorbike / motorbike trip / motorbikes / motorcycle / mountain medicine / mountains / mouse hare / mouse-hare / Muktinath / Mukwanpur / mulberries / Mustang / nag puja / narrow boat / nature / Naubisi / neighbours / Nepal / Nepal Communitere / Nepal road trip / Nepal roadtrip / Nepal Valley / Nepal wildlife / Nepali / Nepali food / Nepali tea / Nepali topi / Nepali wildlife / Nigiri himal / Nilgiri / Nilgiri South / non-fiction / Nonsuch Palace / Nonsuch Park / Northumberland / novel / nuthatch / Nuwakot / obstetrics / orb spider / ox-cart / parenting / Passer montanus / passing places / passive pleasure / Patan / Patan Durbar Square / payer / People in Need charity / percussion / PHASE / PHASE Nepal / PHASENepal / Phewa Tal / Philippines / Phoksundo / phonetics / photoktm2016 / pigeons / pika / pike / pilgrims / plastic waste / pleasure / Pokhara / Police My Friend / pollution / polytunnel / pony trekking / post earthquake recovery / powder / pregnancy / Pul Chowk / Pulsar / Pungmo / Purnima programme / Pyncnonotus cafer / rabies / Rajapur / Rajapur bazaar / Rajapur Island / Rajapur market / rat snake / Real Fairness for Real men / reconstructed dialogue / Red Dawn Rising / red-vented bulbul / relief work / Remover of obstacles / rhododendron / ricefields / Richard Mabey / Ringmo / risk takers / river crossing / river island / river-crossing / road trip / roadtrip / Rock Doves / rock shelters / Roe Deer / Royal Enfield Riders Club / Royle's pika / rubbish / Rufus-breasted Niltava / rupees / Russian border / Sally Haiselden / samosa / Sarengkot / sarus cranes / scorpion / Seeta Siriwardena / self-harm / serow / Shangri La / Shangri-la / Shey-Phoksundo National Park / Shivapuri / Shivapuri Nagajung National Park / Shivapuri National Park / Shivapuri Village / Shivapuri Village Resort / short story / shrikes / Simon Howarth / Sindhupalchowk / Sinhala / Sinhalese / skipper butterflies / skippers / snow leopard / Snowfed Waters / solid waste disposal / Soti / South Sudan / sparrows / Speaking Tiger / spider venom / Spiny babblers / spotted owlet / squirrel / Sri Lanka / Sri Lankan author / Stephanie Green / stink bug / street art / street dogs / Subsistence agriculture / Sudan / Suli Gad Khola / Suli Gad river / Summit Air / sunbird / sunrise / Surrey / suspended bridge / Sussex / Suttee / Tahr / tar tattoo / tato pani / Tatopani / tea / tea shop / teacher / teashop / Teku / Teku infectious diseases hospital / terai / Thamel / Thankot / Tharu / Tharu people / The Lonely Cat / time / To be blessed / traffic jam / traffic rules / traffic uncles / transHimalaya / transHimalayan / travel anthology / travel writing / travelling with children / tree sparrows / trekking / trust / Tsirang / Twin Otter / Uganda / unplanned pregnancy / Upper Mustang / urban life / urban pollution / urban water supply / vegetarian / velvet-fronted nuthatch / Viiksimontie / Village dogs / village life / vulture / Wai / Wanderlust / water supplies / water tankers / West Sussex / western Nepal / widower / wild goat / wild places / wildlife / winter madness / winter Wheat / Women Travellers / wordsmith / World Environment Day / world's deepest gorge / writers group / writing / writing about writing / writing for children / writing group / year fives / young mother / young motherhood / Your Child Abroad

Demonstrating for Health

Wednesday, 06 June 2018
The power is off again so I’m deprived of an internet connection but that’s a stimulus to jot down a few thoughts about yesterday, when I joined in a street demonstration – for the first time in decades.
Why, you ask?
When we left Nepal in 1998, water diverted from the Melamchi River via a 27-kilometre-long tunnel, was expected in the Kathmandu Valley. It was sorely needed to augment scant supplies. It was expected the following year. But the civil war and political shenanigans meant that the tunnel was only finished this year. The new pipes to bring drinking water to most households are already installed and tested but roads throughout the city are yet to be repaved. This means that vehicles churn up dust everywhere and add to the filth in the air we breathe. In addition to normal traffic, hundreds of water tankers ply the city streets bringing water by road because there is none in the pipes.
As it is, air quality in The Valley is said to be the third worst in the world. This is partly because we are so sheltered by the 2000m high retaining rim but it is also because we have too many vehicles (many of which are poorly maintained). Solid waste is burned because this system – like many in Nepal – is broken. Then as rebuilding goes on apace there are the brick factories that belch out black smoke; apparently they buy old tyres to burn for fuel.
Pondering all this, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and do nothing but grumble. Yet there are solutions, and some citizens work hard to motivate their politicians.
So it was that yesterday morning, my Nepali friend, G, and I turned up at Nepal Communitere on the occasion of World Environment Day. People gathered to march to the Department of Roads to protest at their inactivity. G and I were by far the most seasoned amongst the 200 or so protesters who had gathered and I rather mourned my lack of foresight in not fashioning a banner proclaiming GRANNIES AGAINST FILTH or somesuch but I was inspired to meet so many young Nepalis with that fire in their bellies that made them want to make a noise.
The march was properly organised with written permission from the police to proceed. Even so when a pickup full of armed police came by, siren-wailing, G and I looked at each other wondering in trepidation how things would turn out that day. Other demonstrators felt no fear though. The chanting and banner-waving didn't pause. It continued unabated as we forged a way across the dense traffic on Pul Chowk and on all the way to the Department of Roads offices near Patan Dhoka.
The courtyard we’d entered was flooded by overnight rain and government workers had placed planks across various ponds to enable them to get into their offices. Comments were made about the irony that even the Department of Roads hadn’t troubled to organise proper paved access so that people could do their work. Turnover in government posts is fast though. It is difficult to make an impact.
Offices start late in this country – people like to eat rice before work – and unsurprisingly arriving at 10am proved too early to meet the Director General. After a while though, our chants brought out the deputy DG. He listened good-humouredly and offered to meet the protest leaders to discuss ways forward.
This felt like real democracy in action. Nepal has been through some horrendous times but elections here late in 2017 heralded a new federal system where citizens should have more access to the politicians who are supposed to represent them and this should make them more accountable. Many Nepalis are optimistic and people with the passion are reminding those in authority and those with the purse strings that they have a great deal of work to do.
Meanwhile, I wonder whether I’ll have power for long enough to post photos to augment this blog.
 
Protest outside the Department of Roads on World Enviroment Day