At a time when the waste workers from the formal sector have been unable to clean the wastes generated in the Kathmandu valley, hundreds of informal waste workers gathered at Teku Bridge to join in a campaign to clean the city. With broom in hand, and doko - a typical basket used to carry the waste – on the back, wearing gloves, masks and other safety gears, the informal waste workers were all set to conquer the war against waste for the day at the banks of the Bisnumati River.
Led by Purna Man Waiba, President of Sanyukta Safai Jagaran, an NGO working for the upliftment of the informal waste workers, the "Clean up Nepal Campaign" cleared the piles of waste left over in the river banks.
Along with the informal workers, hundreds of people from the neighbourhood also joined their hands in this campaign. "I felt proud to receive the support from Kathmandu Municipality for the equipment, vehicles and carts for the collection of waste and transfer," said Maya Tamang, of the Informal Waste Workers.
“The Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD) has been implementing the PRISM project (Poverty Reduction of Informal Workers in Solid Waste Management Sector) through the funding support of European Union and Practical Action since June 2011. The CIUD has been strengthening the IWWs and their organization through this project and supporting them to raise their income and let the public pay recognition as they do such a city cleaning job throughout the year," Says Nabin Bikash Maharjan, Project Coordinator.
Five Tippers full of waste was collected from the banks, sweeping out the dust and garbage, within the two hours of the campaign. "This is just beginning. We will launch more massive campaigns to clean the city," said Waiba.