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    High on a mountain in the Himalayas, the pristine headwater of the Bagmati river falls from the mouth of a tiger statue. For the Hindu majority nation, the river is long revered as having the power to purify souls. But Nepal's holiest river has deteriorated so greatly that today it is also t…

    Nepal’s most sacred river is also its most polluted. In the capital, Kathmandu, raw sewage is dumped directly into the Bagmati River, and heaps of garbage are tossed in from along the banks. Once sparkling and clear, today the river's waters are black and sludgy, undrinkable and unsuitable for even cleaning. During the dry months, an overwhelming stench pervades the area by the river. Volunteers gather each weekend to pick up garbage, and the government is building canals to divert sewage from the river. But some environmentalists and people who live along the holy Bagmati aren't optimistic those efforts can make a significant impact.

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