Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kathmandu, a vulnerable city

Ramesh Prasad Bhushal in the Himalayan: Kathmandu has been listed among the 15 most vulnerable cities of the world due to the impact of climate change. The International Institute for Environment and Development based in London, recently published a report — Climate Change and the Urban Poor — listing the capital among the most vulnerable cities of the world. The list includes 12 cities from Africa and three from south Asia.

Kathmandu of Nepal, Thimphu of Bhutan, Harare of Zimbabwe, Kampala of Uganda, Lusaka of Zambia and Blantyre of Malawi are the high altitude and inland vulnerable cities, according to the report. It adds that the most vulnerable coastal cities are Khulna of Bangladesh, Maputo of Mozambique, Dar es Salam of Tanzania, Mombassa of Kenya and Cotonou of Benin. The vulnerable dry land cities are Nouakchott of Mauritania, Diourbel of Senegal, Bamako of Mali and Khartoum of Sudan.

The report adds, “There are 64 squatter settlements in Kathmandu and the total population of squatters has been estimated at 14,500, most of who live along riverbanks or on steep slopes.” Only two per cent of the world’s land is in the low elevation coastal zone, the area adjacent to the coast that is less than ten metres above the mean sea level. But this zone is home to 10 per cent of the world’s population, adds the report….

A street in Kathmandu, shot by Pavel Novak, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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