Solid Waste Management- A major challenge in Kathmandu

Currently, you could find massive chunks of solid waste on every street and alleyway in Kathmandu. It’s been around 2 weeks since KMC (Kathmandu Metropolitan City) and other respective authorities are unable to dump waste in the valley. This has raised the serious issues of environmental damage as well as concern for the health of people.

It’s been around 2 decades of dumping the waste of Kathmandu valley at the dumping side of Sisdole, Nuwakot. Initially, the local people of Sisdole were happy as transforming the area into a dumping site as it would have prompted many opportunities for development for the whole area. Instead, nothing much has changed for Sisdole as compared to the previous two decades. Dangerous diseases like cancer have affected the local people of Sisdole blamed mainly on the pollution.

In two decades, Nepal saw many political transformations. Democracy was introduced bringing an end to the Monarchy. Several governments were formed as well as collapsed without doing any significant tasks. No one spare a thought regarding the long-term management of the waste. The present crisis of solid waste management is the result of decades-long waste politics.

Recently Balen Shah, Rapper and Structural Engineer have been elected as a Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City and already some positive changes have been seen since he has been elected. We should just be hopeful for now that he’ll find a long-term solution to this generational problem.

There seems a lack of awareness among the people as well regarding solid waste management. The classification of waste as organic and inorganic should be done from the home itself. Every household should at least keep 2 dust bins so that waste could be classified on basis of its nature. Awareness campaigns regarding this issue shall be conducted by respected authorities.

In terms of managing the organic waste, you could manage it in your home itself. You could transform the organic waste into compost which could be used as a fertilizer.

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Solid waste blocking road in New Buspark, Kathmandu

Since the area of Sisdole is full of waste and further waste cannot be dumped in that area, Banchare-Dada is chosen as a new destination to dump the waste. Unfortunately, the local people of Banchare-Dada are protesting against the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Nepal Government fearing that they will face the same fate as the local people of Sisdole. Sisdole would have been a whole other story had the respective authorities taken serious action on waste management two decades back. The negligence of these authorities has cost the lives of countless people. Let’s hope that this scenario would not be repeated again under the new leadership.

Private waste management institutions charge money from people for disposing of their waste while the scenario should have been the exact opposite. If the waste were managed properly, income would have been generated for the households as well. Unfortunately, the haphazard management of waste at current times makes this kind of statement sound like a hoax. So, despite the major challenge, there is a major opportunity of providing employment to the people, generating income and solve the issue of solid waste management forever for good.

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