As an urgent response to the mounting waste problem in the country, the government has repeatedly sought support from all the stakeholders including the communities. Though the support, especially from the communities has been lukewarm, one man has come to the forefront to do his bit towards waste management in the country. He is all set to shoulder the herculean task of conducting a nationwide cleaning campaign from next month.
Gembo, 45, is from Nabji Village of Korphu Gewog in Trongsa. A tour guide by profession, Gembo is a passionate zero-waste campaigner.
Sharing details about his forthcoming cleaning campaign across the country, he said the campaign will kick-start from Dungkhar in Kurtoed Gewog under Lhuentse.
“In Lhuentse, I will clean up the dzong area along with some 20 monks. Then I will clean the public cremation ground with Red Cross Society members. After that, I will collect wastes discarded along the roads,” mentioned Gyembo.
The identified locations to be cleaned in the rest of the districts are the same and they are the dzong areas, the public crematoriums and the roads.
As Gembo plans a solo cleaning campaign around the country, he hopes to receive good community support.
“Along the roads, I will stop the public transport buses and sensitise them to avoid littering along the way and the public sites,” continued Gyembo.
However, Gyembo reasoned that he had no choice but to plan a solo cleaning campaign due to budget constraints.
“I wanted to hire trash collectors but I don’t have enough funds to pay them. Even hiring a cook, is expensive. I have to pay a minimum of Nu 1,000 per day,” he added.
But he is confident that his four-month long cleanliness drive will wrap up successfully. He recounted organising more than 200 clean-up campaigns with volunteers over the past years.
Gyembo likes to believe that his genuine interest in managing waste stems from his guiding profession, which has to do with accompanying tourists on many sight-seeing trips.
According to the 2020 national solid waste inventory survey by the National Statistics Bureau, Bhutan generates more than 172 metric tons of solid waste in a day.
Edited by Pema Lhaden