Climate Change

Nepal Army Cleans Up Mount Everest and Surrounding Peaks in 55-Day Campaign

Main image to the post Nepal Army Cleans Up Mount Everest and Surrounding Peaks in 55-Day Campaign

Nepal Army Cleans Up Mount Everest and Surrounding Peaks

In a remarkable effort to combat the growing problem of pollution on Mount Everest and nearby peaks, the Nepal Army has removed tonnes of rubbish, four dead bodies, and skeletal remains during a 55-day clean-up campaign. The initiative, titled "An endeavour to save the Himalayas," focused on Everest, Nuptse, and Lhotse mountains.

"This is an achievement mission as well as a readiness mission in which we have demonstrated our ability to complete our work in accordance with the goals and objectives we have established and accepted," stated Nepal's Chief of the Army Staff, Prabhu Ram Sharma.

The clean-up drive is particularly significant considering Mount Everest's unfortunate status as the "world's highest garbage dump." With hundreds of mountaineers attempting to reach the summit each year, the accumulation of waste has become a major environmental concern. Environmentalists estimate that over 50 tonnes of garbage and more than 200 dead bodies lie buried on Everest.

The Nepal Army's clean-up efforts began in 2019, driven by concerns over the climate crisis and its impact on the world's highest mountain. Since then, five annual clean-up drives have collected a total of 119 tonnes of waste, 14 human corpses, and some skeletal remains.

To further address the issue of waste generation, the Nepal government has implemented measures such as requiring climbers to bring their excreta back to base camp in designated "poo bags." Additionally, the local municipality of Pasang Lhamu has made it mandatory for climbers to purchase these bags at base camp, which will be checked upon their return.

In an attempt to manage the increasing number of climbers, the government has also issued 421 climber permits this year, a decrease from the record-breaking 478 permits issued last year. This number excludes Nepalese guides.

Despite these efforts, the challenges remain significant. The high altitude and harsh weather conditions on Mount Everest make clean-up operations incredibly difficult and dangerous. Additionally, the sheer volume of waste generated by climbers continues to pose a major environmental threat.

The Nepal Army's clean-up campaign is a commendable step towards preserving the pristine beauty of Mount Everest and its surrounding peaks. However, sustained efforts from both climbers and authorities are crucial to ensure the long-term success of these initiatives and protect the Himalayas for generations to come.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09