Kathmandu, April 11
The government and several stakeholders are jointly initiating a mega 45-day clean-up campaign in the world’s highest mountain from mid-April.
The ‘Mt Everest clean-up campaign-2019’ has set a target of collecting 10,000 kg garbage and several dead bodies from Everest this spring season.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Ministry of Defence, Nepali Army, Province 1 government, Department of Tourism, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Nepal Tourism Board, Sagarmatha National Park, Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Village Municipality, Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee have jointly initiated the campaign.
The programme aims to collect 5,000 kg from Mt Everest and the same amount from near the Everest region.
Speaking at a press conference today, DoT Director General Dandu Raj Ghimire claimed it would be the biggest ever cleaning campaign on Mt Everest. “Rather than organising regular programmes on Sagarmatha Day, we decided to initiate a massive clean-up campaign,” said Ghimire, adding that organisers hope to bring about 10,000 kg rubbish from the higher camps. A 12-member team will be collecting and bringing the garbage to the base camp with the help of support staff.
According to Major Dipendra Neupane, the Nepali Army will assist climbers in collecting garbage with the help of the local government. “We will deploy one team at the base camp to coordinate and provide emergency response.” Neupane informed that apart from a rescue team and a medical team, the army will have one of their helicopters on standby at the base camp for emergencies.
Santa Bir Lama, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, said government, private sector, non-government organisations and other stakeholders needed to come together to clean up the image of Mt Everest. He said a few international media have been spreading the ‘wrong’ message that Mt Everest trail is littered with garbage and corpses.
The organisers estimate Rs 23.21 million will be needed for the campaign. In this regard, Coca-Cola Company has pledged Rs five million, DoT is giving Rs 200,000, Khumbu Pasang Village Municipality has pledged Rs three million, NMA has promised Rs two million, private businesses and financial institutions are giving Rs 2.5 million, WWF Nepal is providing Rs two million. The organisers are gearing up to manage the shortfall from different stakeholders.
A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.