NAMCHE: About five metric tonnes of waste dumped in the Everest region will be brought to Kathmandu by tomorrow. On the initiation of Everest Summiteers’ Association (ESA), the government, Eco Himal, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee were involved in the collection of the waste from April 17 to May 27. The government had provided Rs 7.5 million, Carlsberg Beer Rs 2 million and NMA Rs 2 million for the campaign. Laxmi Bank had shelled out Rs 500,000 and donors from Sweden had provided
$110,000 for Save the Everest Campaign that ESA launched in 2008. Working for a month, 29 mountaineers have brought 8.1 metric tonnes of waste dumped in the Everest region since 1953 to Namche, where 3.2 metric tonnes of waste, mainly plastics and papers, will be disposed within a month. Rest of the waste, including oxygen cylinders, helicopter debris, metals, cans and bottles, will be sent to Kathmandu.
Wongchu Sherpa, president of the ESA, said 4.9 metric tonnes of waste will be brought to Kathmandu by air by tomorrow. “The waste will be handed over to the government. We will suggest the government to keep some of the materials in museums,” he said. Sherpa further said they launched the campaign after foreigners drew their attention towards the pollution in the Everest region. “We launched the campaign with the aim of collecting at least eight tonnes of garbage dumped in the Everest region,” he said. “We will continue the clean-up next year as well,” Sherpa informed.
Sherpa suggested that the government introduce a policy to discourage waste disposal on the Himalayas. Carrying about 150kg of materials each person, about 35,000 foreign visitors accompanying some 80,000 porters and helpers visit the Everest region every year, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA).Pasang Sherpa, a mountaineer involved in the clean-up, said they had worked at sub-zero temperatures putting their lives at risk to rid the region of waste.
He accused the government of not bothering to remove waste from the region. “It even failed to take legal action against the polluters.” Murari Bahadur Karki, joint secretary at the MoTCA, said both the private sector and the government should work together to make the polluters pay. He stressed the need to clean other Himalayas of the country. About 2,000 metric tonnes of waste has been dumped in the Himalayas, including 80 metric tonnes in the Everest region, since 1953. Source>>
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