Sixth week of clean-up campaign marked in Nagarjun National ParkThe event saw students, teachers and volunteers clean up three hiking routes as part of the ‘Litter Free National Park’ campaign ongoing since October this year.
National parks in Nepal have been a great means to promote internal and external tourism and to protect wildlife and their habitats. But their hiking routes are littered with garbage, with the hikers leaving behind bottles of water and beverages and wrappers of noodles and biscuits.
In a bid to raise awareness about the problem, the European Union and the Clean up Nepal in collaboration with Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park on Saturday celebrated the sixth week of 10-week Shivapuri Clean-up campaign under the framework of the European Union Climate Diplomacy and to mark European Year of Youth 2022.
The campaign, which started on October 22, takes place every Saturday in Nagarjun. Themed ‘Litter Free National Park’, the campaign witnesses awareness programmes where volunteers provide sacks to the attendants, reminding them to bring their waste back after the hike.
Saturday’s clean-up campaign saw the presence of as many as 120 people, including students from Tokha Niten Memorial School, volunteers, visitors in the park and campaign organisers.
At the event, Nona Deprez, the European Union’s ambassador to Nepal, inquired about the volunteers’ experience of the campaign.
“I am excited to see young volunteers joining hands for this campaign,” said Deprez. “It’s very important to preserve nature.”
The participants cleaned up the hiking routes from the national park’s gate to three destinations—Nagi Gumba, Bagdwar, and Peak—and collected a total of 78kg solid waste, including 61kg of plastic wrappers, 13kg of plastic bottles, 4.2kg of glass bottles and empty cans.
“I have come here for a hike dozens of times, and the routes were really dirty,” said Veronica Pineider, environmental focal point for the EU delegation. “I am hopeful that this move will help to bring about a change in peoples’ attitude.”
The event saw the participation of nearly three dozen students.
“I feel glad to be part of this project,” said Asim Sunuwar, 17, a tenth-grader at Niten Memorial. “Tourism is the backbone of our country’s economy. We should keep our environment clean to attract more tourists.”
The collected waste was separated into recyclable and non-recyclable at the entry gate of the national park and has been collected by Budhanilkantha Municipality.
Mayor Mitharam Adhikari said the municipality and Nepal Army have kept boards suggesting no litter. “But we found just a written board does not work,” Adhikari said. “It’s only through awareness that we can make our national park and its hiking routes litter-free. This is a good initiative and it should continue.”