How Long Will The Residents Of Kathmandu Have To Live In The Pile Of Garbage?

Rishu Shrestha

Aug 13, Kathmandu- The garbage management system in Kathmandu Valley was postponed due to road construction purposes. It has been weeks since the Kathmandu Municipality abandon the management of garbage in the valley. The municipality has raised various reasons responsible for the blockade of garbage management in the valley. According to the municipality, the garbage management program has been stopped due to local constraints.

Garbage management has become a major issue in the valley at present. Why did Cheif Balen Shah fail to implement the efforts announced in the manifesto before the election, after being declared the chief of the metropolis? Banchare Danda-Sisdol which was once called one of the most eye-catching spots is now popular as a dumping site or landfill site.

After being unable to manage garbage to their own extent, the municipality signed various agreements for waste management giving assurance to the residents of other areas, but the agreement remained limited to paper only. About 600 metric tons of garbage come from the Kathmandu Valley alone which are left unmanaged for more than 4 weeks now. The locals of Banchare Danda had announced that they will not allow the Kathmandu Valley’s waste to be dumped at the Sisdole-Banchare Danda landfill site from August 17. What will the municipality do if this situation continues for the next 2-3 months?

The municipality had issued a regulation in which the locals were requested to separate biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes but it seems like this decision is also limited to the documents. Although there is a significant observation on the compliance among households in some areas, there are others who still don’t segregate. Technically, solid waste segregation has also remained a major challenge at the local level itself. People find it hard to manage garbage disposals in their homes, it smells bad, and spreads diseases, but don't pay attention to the trouble they cause to the residents of the place where they pile their wastes. The public can't bear the smell of garbage that comes from their own homes have no idea about how the residents of sisaldol are bearing the smell of such a large amount of garbages in every breath.

Even though the city has been requested not to take out the garbage of their homes until the garbage truck comes to receive them, citizens of the city are neglecting the instruction shamelessly. On the other hand, it is said that the garbage trucks have been taking the separated garbage all at once in some areas. This negligence even shows neither the public nor the authorities are serious about changing the poor face of the nation. The lack of waste management guidelines that remained unfollowed by the public in the valley shows the common citizens are much more ignorant than the metropolis. The valley citizens, who hold their noses as they walk through the garbage area thrown around by themselves have been blaming the metropolis for not being able to process the garbage management system in Sisdol. On the other side, Metropolis has been dangling the victims of Sisdol residents for the past 17 years making excuses to not fulfill various conditions. Aggrieved Sisdol residents have been left helpless for years, risking their health, and allowing garbage in their hometown hoping that their conditions will be fulfilled someday.

A local of Sisdol says, "Though the houses are located in a distance from the dumping site, livestock die due to the smell and disease spread from there, people get sick, flies from the dumping site are seen all over spreading diseases directly getting on the food we eat. Who is responsible for our lives?" Locals have claimed that authorized people who represent Banchare Danda residents are infiltrating by assuring one thing with the locals and another with the metropolis. Because of this, the locals are forced to take their own lives as well.

In a recent press meeting, CPN-Maoist top Leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) said that he would make the necessary arrangements and get instant help from Japan in the context of waste management in Nepal. This is a shameful statement to make being an MP of the nation. Are we not capable of managing the waste we create? Nepali festival 'Gaijatra' started yesterday. On the occasion of Gaijatra, the metropolis started collecting garbage from the core area. Now the citizens have to wait for a festival to arrive to get rid of the garbage in their homes. The top MPs in the Parliament House talk on the same issue every time they conduct a meeting but it seems impossible for them to be responsible for managing the waste.

Neighboring country India is now capable of conducting any garbage management process after 'Swachh Bharat Mission' was launched in 2014 under the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi started. The condition of garbage management in India was worse than that of Nepal a few years ago but after the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission, situations turned. Under the mission, all villagers, Districts, Stated, And Union Territories in India declared themselves "open-defecation free" (ODF) by the middle of 2019. To ensure that the open defection-free behaviors are sustained, no one is left behind, and that solid and liquid waste management facilities are accessible, the mission is moving towards the next Phase now. Although several such campaigns have been conducted in Nepal as well, the people here have not been able to implement them properly, due to which the situation in Nepal is becoming unpleasant. If this continues, it will be impossible for human settlement to remain in Nepal in the next 5-6 years. In Nepal, reusing waste, using old goods for the same or new purposes or treating waste to produce energy, fertilizer, and other components from it, and turning waste into a source of income have been limited to slogans and government plans. The residents are forced to tolerate the atrocity caused by the Metropolis.

If every person unites and works together for the welfare of the nation, the face of the country will surely change. Every citizen needs to be responsible and should follow the guidelines provided by the government. We need to remind ourselves that our negligence of waste segregation or any other rules regarding waste management leads to environmental impacts as well.