Nepal

The big clean up: tackling litter and waste in Baltar

7th February 2018

Litter and pollution is a global problem which affects natural environments across the world. But in Baltar, in rural Nepal, local people are taking action to tackle this issue. Raleigh’s Volunteer Managers recently joined the community on a litter picking morning, an important awareness raising event which is helping to keep the community clean and inspiring a safe environment for everyone in Baltar.

Plastic pollution and litter is a global issue. Every year, 8 million tons of plastic litter goes into the ocean, affecting marine life and affecting the natural food chain. On land, one piece of litter can negatively impact animal habitats and contaminate water supplies for an entire community.

This is especially true in Baltar, where water and sanitation facilities have recently been constructed by Raleigh volunteers. As water sources are close to the village households, maintaining a clean environment is important for keeping the community water supplies safe.

The litter picking morning was introduced by the President of the Ward of Ghyalchok as a way to keep the community clean and safe. At least one member from every household in Baltar was asked to attend the event, as were children from the local primary school. Raleigh’s Volunteer Managers joined the community on the litter pick and worked side by side local people on the big clean up.

Raising awareness about the importance of a clean environment was a key part of the morning. Sanitation facilities, like toilets and handwashing stations, haven’t always been available in Baltar, and in some households proper sanitation is still not practiced. Awareness raising songs were played throughout the event which highlighted the importance of proper hygiene, emphasising why toilets are crucial for keeping a hygienic environment for everyone.

Together Raleigh’s Volunteer Managers and the community managed to fill and dispose of twenty bags of litter and reached countless people with messages of sanitation. This will help to keep the community clean and will ensure that Baltar’s water supplies are safer from contamination.

Ram, President of the Ward of Ghyalchok – which covers Baltar and the surrounding communities – led the event and thanked the volunteers and community for taking action:

“We have been planning our awareness raising morning for a quite a while, and today you have all got involved which has created a positive impact in our community. As the volunteers and people from across the community have done such a good job, it has now inspired others in the community to want to do it again by themselves.”

The President of the Ward of Ghyalchok thanked Raleigh volunteers and the community for taking action

Baltar’s awareness raising morning is a prime example of the power of collective action. Tackling pollution effectively can only be achieved when everyone takes part. On a global level, reducing the use of single-use plastics – such as straws and coffee cups – can help keep the oceans clean, and recycling can help maintain a sustainable planet for future generations.

Raleigh volunteers and the people of Baltar are inspiring positive change. With every bottle and packet collected, and with every person who’s impassioned to keep a clean environment, Raleigh volunteers and the community are making a positive impact for everyone in Baltar.

Raleigh’s Volunteer Managers and the community after the awareness raising event

The Volunteer Managers of Expedition 18C have been visiting Baltar as part of their two-week training and induction. They are preparing for the arrival of our young volunteers who will soon be starting their water and sanitation projects in four new communities in Gorkha. Follow what the team have been up to on our Raleigh Nepal Facebook and Instagram page.

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