Ninety percent of brick production in Nepal takes place in the Kathmandu Valley. Brick production from natural draft, fixed chimney kilns generates black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). More efficient technologies such as forced draft, zigzag chimneys can reduce pollutants.
The brick industry provides jobs for thousands of unskilled workers. Migrant and seasonal labourers who live on the kilns during the season dominate this sector. Working conditions are often unhealthy and unsafe but in a country of limited opportunities, choices are few.
Following the devastating earthquakel in April 2015, concern is being expressed that brick kiln entrepreneurs will take shortcuts in terms of environmental and workers’ safety when rebuilding the kilns.