Nearly 34 tonnes of waste have been collected from four mountains, including the world’s highest peak Mount Everest, in Nepal as part of a cleaning campaign that concluded on World Environment Day, the Nepal Army said on Monday (June 6).
A team led by the Nepal Army collected 33.8 tonnes of garbage during the Safa Himal Abhiyan 2022 that was launched on April 5. The campaign, which began in 2019, was halted in 2020 due to a coronavirus outbreak.
This year’s waste collection remains the highest. Around 10 tonnes were amassed in 2019 and over 27 tonnes last year, the army here said in a statement.
“A joint team of Nepal Army and Sherpas collected 33,877 kg of garbage from Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga and Manaslu,” it said, adding that the campaign concluded on World Environment Day on Sunday.
A team comprising 30 army personnel and 48 Sherpas was involved in the cleaning campaign. Four doctors were also part of the team.
The team handed over the flag to Nepal Chief of Army Staff Prabhu Ram Sharma to mark the end of the campaign on Sunday.
Army Chief Sharma said it was the supreme duty of humans to maintain a balance in the environment in the face of growing environmental degradation.
Two types of garbage, rotting and non-rotting, were collected from the mountains. The waste was managed separately and some garbage is still being managed, the statement said.
It took the team 55 days to clear Mount Everest and Lhotse peaks, and 44 and 43 days to spruce up Kanchenjunga and Manaslu mountains respectively, the statement said.
Two human skeletons were also found on Kanchenjunga during the third phase of the campaign.
The biodegradable waste was handed over to the local governments concerned while the non-biodegradable waste was given to various organisations for recycling. Some waste is yet to be handed over, the army said.
Director General at the Department of Tourism Taranath Adhikari said there is a need to have a separate battalion or company for the conservation and cleaning of the mountains, My Republica newspaper reported.