Kathmandu, April 28
Three-thousand kilogrammes of solid waste has been collected from the Mt Everest region so far under the Sagarmatha Cleaning Campaign. The campaign had started from April 14.
Organising a press meet today in the Capital, Dandu Raj Ghimire, director general of Department of Tourism, informed that of the total garbage collected so far, 2,000 kg has been sent to Okhaldhunga while 1,000 kg has been brought to Kathmandu using Nepali Army helicopters for disposal.
Some locally manageable waste was disposed off in the Namche region itself. Biodegradable waste was taken to Okhaldhunga while non-degradable waste like plastic and bottles were brought to Kathmandu.
“Our team has now reached the Everest Base Camp for the cleaning campaign. All the necessary things including food, water and shelter have already been arranged there,” Ghimire said.
He further added that the team involved in the cleaning campaign will receive incentives as well. DoT estimates that around Rs 23 million will be spent for the campaign. “Under this campaign we will be collecting around 5,000 kg of garbage from Base Camp area, while 2,000 kg of garbage will be collected from the South Col region and around 3,000 kg will be collected from Camp II and Camp III area,” he added.
Besides, the team has also located four dead bodies while cleaning the Base Camp.
Ghimire added that the team will also be bringing down dead bodies from the Everest if they are able to locate any.
This is the first time ever that all stakeholders have come together to clean up the world’s highest peak, as per Ghimire.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Environment, Nepali Army, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality and Nepal Tourism Board are working jointly for this campaign.
The DoT has estimated that at least 500 foreign climbers and over 1,000 climbing support staff will visit higher camps of Mt Everest this season as they prepare to scale the world’s highest peak as well as Mt Lhotse, the fourth tallest mountain.
DoT’s record shows that over 300 foreign climbers, along with their support staff, have already left for Khumbu region to attempt to climb Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse. Most climbers often make a final summit push by the third week of May.
A version of this article appears in print on April 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.