Disease Outbreak Emerging in the Valley. Image Source: The Kathmandu Post

Residents Suffer as Garbage Piles on Streets | Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu Valley residents suffer as garbage piles on streets. Decaying organic garbage littered on the streets of Kathmandu continues to spread a detestable smell since the last month. Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is not being able to clear the garbage piling on the streets because the capacity of the dumping ground in Sisdole is full, a source says. It cannot take solid waste anymore.

Sisdole was gorge a few ago. In 2005, KMC started dumping garbage collected from the valley into the gorge spread over 720 Ropanis. Kathmandu Valley generates around 500 metric tonnes of solid waste every day. The agreement to dump garbage in Sisdole was for three years. However, the dumping continued for 13 years. The gorge, categorized into Valley 1, 2, and 3, has transformed into a stinking hill today.

Continual pouring down of rain over the last few weeks have rendered landfill site at Sisdole inaccessible to municipal staff. Every year during the monsoon season, the road leading to Sisdole in Okharpauwa becomes muddy and Lorries carrying garbage sinks into the slushy ground.

Residents suffer as garbage piled on streets. Settlements near the stinking landfill site have complained of health hazards; drop in quality of their agricultural produce, and loss of livestock that inadvertently ingests leeches that thrive in the garbage. Residents complain of suffering from a headache, diarrhea, respiratory problems, and the danger of increasing houseflies. KMC officials have glossed over the stinking issue. They paid compensation to families residing up to 900 meters from Sisdole.

As we can experience it, the situation is getting worse this year. Overflowing garbage and muddy road obstruct municipal staff. Lorry driver Ram Tamang who ferries garbage from Kathmandu to the site said, “We cannot reach the site because of landslides. Our lorries get stranded on the soft muddy road.” Over 100 Lorries carrying garbage to the landfill site are left stranded on the road full of garbage. Kakani Rural Municipality-1 Chairperson Chandra Bahadur Balami said, “Years ago we informed the KMC to find a solution. The officials are callous. They do not listen to citizens’ problems. One has to visit homes and restaurants here to witness the army of flies and the unbearable stink. It is an epidemic waiting to happen.”

Mounds of garbage litter the streets and alleys of Kalimati, Kuleshwor, Tripureshwor and other areas in the city; impacts of Sisdole. The Teku Waste Transfer Station to has exceeded its capacity to hold garbage. Kuleshwor resident Biraj Bhattarai said, “The filth and stink make us wonder whether we live in the capital city of Nepal. People suffer this foul smell the moment they step out of their homes. Then they have to deal with roads full of potholes and small ponds.”

KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya visited Sisdole along with KMC Environment Division Chief Hari Bahadur Kunwar and other officials. They decided on Banchare Danda that spreads around 1,792 Ropanis. However, the prohibitive cost of constructing landfill infrastructure spiked this plan. The KMC then announced a temporary site to dump garbage in Shyame Kholso, around one km west of Sisdole. This too failed!

KMC Joint Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhakal said it would take few days to sort out the problem. He blamed rain and damaged road.

Want to add your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to use the comments section below.

Reference: The Kathmandu Post