Thousands of mountaineers dream of scaling the mighty Mount Everest and hundreds of expeditions are organized to conquer the world’s highest peak. This, however, has caused immense damage to the ecology of the Everest as the trekkers dump waste on the peak. This motivated Nepal’s authorities to start an Everest cleanup drive recently on 14th April. The campaign has achieved significant success as 3,000 kg of waste was collected in the drive.
Called the ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, the movement is being organized over a period of 45 days starting 14th April with the commencement of the Nepalese New Year. It was led by Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality of Solukhumbu district. The objective is to collect approximately 10,000 kg of waste from the Himalayan peak.
The organizers plan to collect 5,000 kg of waste from Base Camp region, 2,000 km from South Col area, and an additional 3,000 kg from Camp II and Camp III regions. They will also evacuate dead bodies if found. A first of its kind of campaign, it has been organized on a massive scale with so many stakeholders on board. Several organizations have joined hands to support the campaign. The campaign will end on 29th May on the anniversary of the first conquer of the summit by Tenzing Norway and Edmund Hillary in 1953.
The peak is visited by over 500 climbers and over 1000 support staff every year to scale the mountain. They leave behind traces of waste like faecal matter, oxygen cylinders, and food waste, giving the peak the tag of “the world’s highest garbage dump.”
However, this initiative is not the first step in this direction. The Nepalese government passed a rule to make it compulsory for the climbers to bring back at least 8 kg of waste from the peak.
With the conclusion of the campaign, the waste collected will be “displayed” in Namche Town. It will be recycled later on. The campaign inspires the world to conserve our mountain wealth and natural heritage.