Cleanliness Campaign Launched In Yarsa Collection Area

A sanitation campaign has been launched in the Yarsa (a medicinal herb in high demand) collection area in Saipal village in the northern part of Bajhang district.

As the influx of people into the area is growing day by day, Saipal Rural Municipality has launched the campaign in an attempt to manage the piles of garbage which have adversely affected the environment as well as the biodiversity there.

The waste like old clothes, glasses and plastic have been collected from the base camp, Aulagad, Raidhungi, Majha, Kalaipani, Faral Khet Challa Ban and Saipal Patan area and were disposed within the area.

Besides, public awareness on their impact on environment has also been raised. According to the statistics of the village municipality, about 10 to 15 thousand people come to the area for the collection of the herb.

According to a study conducted by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), about 90,000 kilogram of garbage is piled up in the mountains every year and that is about four to seven kilograms of garbage per person. In addition, the study has also shown that the Himalayan forest is rapidly disappearing.

Over the past decade, 8.1 million trees in the forest have been uprooted and used as firewood. A team led by the municipality’s Chairman Rajendra Bahadur Dhami has constructed drains and temporary toilets to manage the garbage coming out of tents and hotels in the area.Bam Bahadur Bohara, a local of Saipal Rural Municipality-3, said that the production of Yarsa and other valuable herbs has been declining in recent years due to garbage and other human activities in the area.

He said, “We used to collect 100 to 150 pieces of Yarsa in one day but now it is difficult to collect that in a month.”Not only Yarsa, but also, other herbs including Katuki, wild garlic, Padamcharo and Satuwa have been declining.Gyan Bahadur Bohara, a local social worker, said, “Garbage seems to have negatively affected the biodiversity here.”

So far, thousands of tons of plastic, lead, old shoes and discarded clothes have been found throwing everywhere.This year due to the risk of the coronavirus infection in the village, Yarsa collectors have been provided with collection identity cards and health check-ups.

Medicines have also been distributed in the Himalayan region.The municipality has also formed committees in an effort to protect the environment from garbage, for which hoteliers and Yarsa collectors have been asked to make pits in front of their tents where the waste is collected.