We worry about the littering of garbage on the streets, on public places, on public transport. We are concerned, but the majority of us don’t do much to solve the problem. However, the same cannot be said for the Nepal government. The country which is known for rich heritage sites has taken up a novel initiative to clean the Mount Everest.
What is the campaign?
Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality of Solukhumbu district of Nepal has commenced a 45 days long “Everest Cleaning Campaign” on April 14, which is the first day according to the Nepali calendar, reported NDTV. The campaign is about collecting solid wastes from Mount Everest. As of now, the teams have collected a total of 3,000 kg of solid waste. The campaign is focused on gathering 10,000 kg of solid waste within the stipulated period. The campaign will end on May 29; the day marked to celebrate the first summit of Everest by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
Mount Everest has always drawn trekkers and adventure lovers across the world. Every year, hundreds of trekkers, Sherpas and high altitude porters can be seen making their way to the top. However, while returning, most of these climbers prefer to leave behind all the biodegradable as well as non-biodegradable waste such as empty oxygen canisters, beer bottles, faecal matter, and kitchen waste, thus making Mount Everest the “world’s highest garbage dump”.
Blueprint of campaign
Dandu Raj Ghimire, Director General of the Department of Tourism on April 28 said that of the 3,000 kg of garbage collected, 1,000 kg is sent to Kathmandu through the help of Nepali Army helicopters, and 2,000 kg had been sent to Okhaldhunga. Further breaking down the plan, he said that the teams are expected to collect 5,000 kg of garbage from Base camp area, 2,000 kg of garbage from South Col region, and a total of 3,000 kg of garbage from camp ll and camp lll.
He also said that the municipality team has already reached the Everest Base Camp and adequate essential things like food, water and shelter have already been accommodated to them. Talking on recovering dead bodies, he said the team would try to bring down dead bodies. As of now, the team came across four dead bodies while cleaning the Base Camp. It is expected that around 23 million Nepalese rupees will be spent behind this campaign.
Stressing on the previous government’s initiative to clean up Mt Everest, he said that the 2014 government had directed the climbers to carry 8 kg of waste while coming down. As it was reckoned that a climber generates 8kg of waste. Tika Ram Gurung, secretary of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said that they except snow and rocks rest should be cleaned. The collected waste will be kept in Namche Town to show it to be public and later will be ferried to Kathmandu and showcased again on June 5 on the eve of World Environment Day.