2018: A Year in ‘Waste’
As 2018 is winding down, this is the right moment to sit back and reflect on the events that happened in the whirlwind of a year that was. How did Nepal fare in terms of its policies and plans regarding waste management? Here are some highlights to indicate whether Nepal wasted a year in ‘waste’ or made some strides.
2018 really gained momentum as the year with worsening air pollution. Not only were we constantly reminded about the degrading air quality and its repercussions on our environment and health but we definitely experienced its deadly consequences first hand. While this deteriorating air quality can be rightly attributed to increasing development activities, unorganized waste management system and industrialization, we need to give some credits to the government for showing its concern and issuing directives to ban open waste burning in order to reduce air pollution. While the problem might seem of a greater magnitude, let us take a moment to appreciate our government’s effort to address it.
Another major feat in waste management was the installation of solar dustbins to encourage proper disposal of waste. Although Kathmandu Metropolitan City declared installing these smart dustbins two years ago, it has come to fruition just recently. Definitely better late than never! We only hope that these dustbins are here to stay and will simplify waste management in the city.
While the presence of only a single landfill site for dumping of waste created problems this year as well, the government has declared its intent to construct an alternative dumping site at Bancharedada. This plan has been on the pipeline for long enough and we hope that 2019 will be the year when Sisdole solely does not have to bear the brunt of the heaps and heaps of waste.
The government also launched Nepal Clean Environment Mega Campaign, 2018 with the objective of managing household, electrical, biomedical and hazardous waste. We are still at dark about its implementation but we are hopeful to see its result by next year.
Like any other year, 2018 was definitely a year of promises as well. It was encouraging to see the government at least acknowledge the problem of waste management and we are positive that 2019 will be the year when Nepal will accelerate its efforts to tackle its existing waste management woes even more efficiently.
To a greener 2019 and beyond