Along with its major role to safeguarding the country, Nepal Army has been conducting several other activities to protect and preserve the country’s heritage and natural sites.
Following the assumption of office of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), COAS General Purna Chandra Thapa has announced that Nepal Army will also get involved in the cleaning of the mountain peaks and base camps all over the country.
In the last two years, Nepal Army has already brought a large volume of garbage from Everest Base Camp and other peaks. This year Nepal Army has decided to launch this campaign in six different peaks.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, the number of climbers in this season will likely be much smaller. Given such circumstances, it is a good time to take a mission to clean the mountain peaks.
According to an estimate, many of Nepal’s mountain peaks have seen filth and waste growing as a leftover of mountaineers. Nepal Army’s move to start a cleanup campaign is a milestone against that backdrop.
Two years back, NA had cleaned Mt Everest. As per NA, it is preparing to clean Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Pumori, Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Makalu and Mt Dhaulagiri.
The NA has targeted to clean the base camps and the areas above it of these six peaks. The NA has stated that it will collect at least 35 tons of garbage from the peaks, with around 18 tons of garbage from the areas above the base camps.
The Ministry of Forest and Environment; Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal Tourism Board; Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality; Thasang Rural Municipality; Makalu Barun Rural Municipality; Nepal Mountaineering Association; Himalayan Rescue Association; and Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee will be joining NA on this peak-cleaning campaign. According to NA, the campaign will begin from April 13 by handing over the campaign flag to the climbing and cleaning team. And the campaign will end on the World Environment Day on June 5.
The NA has stated that the non-perishable garbage will be brought to the capital by helicopter and land transport. It will then be handed over to a recycling plant. The cleaning climbing team includes 43 climbers from the army as well as Sherpa and other supporting guides.
For the cleaning campaign, the expedition team members are taking training in Jomsom. NA has estimated around Rs 125 million would be needed for the campaign, of which, the Ministry of Forest and Environment will spend Rs 100 million, while the remaining expenses will be borne by NA itself.
The army has stated that joint collaboration with various agencies is necessary to ensure that the mountains are not littered instead of conducting frequent cleaning campaigns. The mountain clean-up campaign was launched in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic; NA could not conduct a cleaning campaign last year.
Announcing the campaign to clean the mountain, Nepal Army has shown that it cares for the nature and conservation of Nepal’s valuable asset.