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Hi Ashley! We were able to activate community engagement by first making daily air quality data available to the public. This increased people's awareness about the alarming levels of pollution, especially during the winter season. As people are experiencing adverse health outcomes they are directly suffering as a result from high levels of air pollution. This knowledge can lead to a feeling of disempowerment if communities feel they cannot do anything to address these issues. It leads to deep levels of stress, reduces quality of life, and in many fosters anger and frustration towards decision-makers. Drishti Kathmandu recently mobilized nearly 200 citizens to March for Clean Air on World Environment Day on June 5th and it was clear that communities are ready to take action and hold local municipalities accountable.
The Nepal Waste Map app allows citizens to feel as if they have a voice and control over the problem. They can directly contribute to reporting and mitigating the problems resulting in an overall better quality of life, reducing anger and frustration and fostering peace in Kathmandu.