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Friends of the Bagmati


Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, launched Friends of Bagmati in November 2000 during the Celebration of Sacred Gifts for a Living Planet jointly organized by the World Wildlife Fund and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC).

The Friends of the Bagmati (FOB) is a group of people from different walks of life who have come together through their common concern and their wish to restore the environment of the Bagmati and other rivers of Nepal. 

Bagmati, which is the biggest river of the Kathmandu valley, originates from Shivapuri hill, 25 km north of Kathmandu City at an altitude of 2650m above sea level. Sacred and holy literatures describe the Bagmati to have originated from the laughter of Lord Shiva. Major tributaries: Bishnumati, Dhobikhola, Manohara, Tukucha and Nakhhu join it along the course of itís meandering through the valley.

But at present Bagmati River is facing a number of serious environmental and ecological challenges. The purity and freshness of our river water is now lost. The water quality and river integrity has changed in the recent years solely due to the anthropogenic activities. People have directed their sewers directly to the river, not only the household wastes but wastes of hazardous nature from nursing homes and private medical institutions without even the primary treatment. Due to increasing population, direct disposal of untreated sewerage into the river, uncontrolled sand mining, improper solid waste disposal, rapid construction of industries, uncontrolled squatters settlement etc are helping to deteriorate the water quality of Bagmati River. 

Today however ritual bathing is almost a thing of the past as pollution chokes this once beautiful river? Presently there are no attempts being made to integrate conservation and clean up activities into a wider fresh water management system for the whole valley. It is the Friends aim, through highlighting the sacredness of the Bagmati, to restore the Bagmati and the other rivers of the Valley by raising local awareness through a variety of ways. FOB is committed to save the rich natural, cultural and heritage significance of Bagmati River from pollution and other threats.




We would love to see children and fish swimming together in the Bagmati

We would love to see pilgrims taking a holy bath in the Bagmati without hesitation.

We would love to offer the holy water of the Bagmati to departed souls without any doubts.

We would love to see all people respect and cherish every river.


FOB has been carrying out various activities ranging from advocacy to awareness. It has been trying synergy to save sacredness and bring life back to Bagmati by combining the strengths of intellectuals, interested organizations and local communities. By using the sacred Bagmati River as an "exempla" project, the Friends strive to tap the emotions of both the "faith communities" and the community at large, and channel these emotions into a sustainable effort involving commitment, imagination and creativity.


On 29 December, Clean-Up Campaign Phase-I was kicked off by a cleanup of the area around Kalopul, Teku. Members of Friends of the Bagmati joined hands in tacking one of the particularly nasty sides of being a Friend of the Bagmati River. Over 60 members and new members joined forces with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), who very kindly lent us some equipment, a tractor and some very able bodies experts in the form of half a dozen ladies who normally have the thankless task of sweeping the streets of Kathmandu.

Photo:      Clean-Up Campaign (right panel)


Friends of the Bagmati have drawn up a "Heritage Walk" in an area where we encourage residents of Kathmandu and overseas visitors to take a closer look at the heritage, culture and environment of the Bagmati River. Within the area of this "Heritage Walk" are two large temple complexes, Laxmishwar and Teen Dewal, ghats, the Pachali Bhairab Shrine and the Pachali Bhairab Park. It was anticipated that the Friends will help restore the collapsing sattal of the Laximshwar Temple, recreate the gardens of Pachali Bhairab and restore the Bagmati River along this small stretch.

 Photo: Heritage Walk (right panel)


In order to create awareness amongst the local inhabitants of Kathmandu, the Nepal River Conservation Trust, along with Friends of the Bagmati and under the promotion of the Nepal Tourism Board, held the Bagmati River Festival on 11 August 2001.

Like wise Friends have organized Second River Festival on 23 August, 2002 along with the Nepal river Conservation Trust which was sponsored by Nepal Tourism Board.

Friends are also participating in the 4th Bagmati River Festival, which was mainly organized by Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) in association with the Sustainable Tourism Network and various other organization, institutions and companies. The event begins from 5th June 2004 (World Environment Day) following several clean up program, plantation, heritage walks etc and will continue till the month of August 2004.

Photo:  River Festival held on 11th August 2001.

Bagmati River Festival

Bagmati River Festival

Bagmati River Festival

Bagmati River Festival

Bagmati River Festival

Bagmati River Festival

Photographs By: Mani Lama and Nick Dawson

Neighborhood Watch Scheme-Phase I

Neighborhood Watch Scheme, project of the Friends of the Bagmati, initiated from the January 2004, which mainly aims to identify the team leaders from the community and educate them about the importance of the Bagmati River by providing training, awareness campaign etc. The NWS working area is the Bagmati River between the Thapathali Bridge to the Teku-Dovan, The community residing along the bank of the river are the target group of this project.

Workshop/Training/Awareness campaign

First Workshop: 13 October, 2001 

A Friend of the Bagmati workshop was held on Saturday 13 October 2001 at Teen Dewal situated on the banks of the Bagmati.  Over 200 years old, this temple, along with others on the 3km stretch of the Bagmati, from Patan Bridge to the point where the Bishnumati River enters the Bagmati, has fallen into disrepair. 

With the objective of gathering information about similar groups and identifying strategic partners as well as formulating a plan of action, the workshop was attended by 22 invited participants from 15 different organizations including Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT), Environment & Public Health Organization (ENPHO), and the Bagmati Area Sewage Project. 

By the end of the workshop, participants had put forward a calendar of events and activities for the coming year broken into four sections: - Awareness & Education, Advocacy, Clean a Heritage Site Greenery: Plant & Care for Trees.

Second workshop: 5 Feb, 2004

Another workshop was organized by Friends of the Bagmati on 5 Feb, 2004 at Dwarikaís Hotel in order to create a networking with those organizations interested towards the Bagmati Conservation.

With the objective of identifying the area of cooperation and creating networking with the organization, Friends have invited 15 different organizations among which Environment & Public Health Organization (ENPHO), Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), PRO-PUBLIC, Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT), World-Vision International, Women Environment Preservation Committee (WEPCO), Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalist (NEFEJ), etc were some of the participants presented in the workshop.

By the end of the workshop, FOB was able to identify the area of cooperation with the other organizations in the upcoming event of the FOB. Everyone presented in the workshop committed towards the Bagmati Conservation.

Health Camp

Friends of the Bagmati in association with the Narayan Pariwar Club, a local club organized a one day free health camp at Bagmatighat, Milanmarg at Teku on 15 May 2004, mainly focusing the people living along the bank of the Bagmati River between Thapathali- Teku Dovan towards the Kathmandu Side. 

The main objectives of the Health Camp were:

  1. To establish the positive relationship with the local community.

  2. To introduce the idea of working in partnership for a common concern.

  3. To survey profile of the local inhabitants.

  4. To research and compile findings into a data base regarding health and sanitation.

  5. To utilize findings in order to establish relationship between environment and health.

  6. To utilize the findings to plan for awareness program. 

Among the 172 local people who signed in to the program, 146 people had undergone their health check up. There were altogether 6 doctors conducting the check up session. Among which 2 doctors were from Maternity Hospital, Thapathali; 3 from Bir Hospital, one was senior medical practitioner.  

Several of the pharmaceutical companies were being requested for the free medicine samples. Among which some of the pharmaceutical companies that provided samples were: Deurali Janata Pvt. Ltd, Hattisar; Vijaydeep Pharmaceuticals, Kupondole; and G.D. Pharmaceuticals, Birjung. Apart from the pharmaceutical companies, some doctors also contributed several medicines for the health camp. 

After the check up session, all the waste generated from the health camp was burnt with the help of local people in order to make them realize that we do care for them and their environment. 

Almost 60% of the patients examined were suffering from the Diarrhea, Dysentery and Abdomen pain problem. From this we can guess that the people of this area either uses dug well or hand pump as a source of water. Contaminated ground water that seeps from the river could be the possible reason for such a high number of diarrhea patients. 

Despite diarrhea and dysentery, majority of the people have complained towards the weight loss and weakness, cough and cold.

Training on Composting

Friends of the Bagmati along with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), and Women Environment Preservation Committee (WEPCO) organized training on the Composting to the local people living along the bank of the Bagmati River (Bagmati Ghat, Milan Marga), Teku on 30 July 2004 

The day began with the clean up campaign.  In the beginning of the day, a cleanup campaign was organized at the initiation of local people at Milanmarga, Teku. The main objective behind cleanup program was to spread message regarding the clean and healthy environment, which can be, achieved even with individual efforts. The locals and the local clubs also actively took part in the clean up campaign jointly organized by the Friends of the Bagmati, Nepal River Conservation Trust and Sustainable Tourism Network and the local people.

 Composting training was imparted to the local communities residing by the side of the Bagmati River at Teku-Dovan. Five compost bins and other necessary accessories including 40 segregation buckets for segregating inorganic and organic wastes was provided to the women of that community who attended the composting training.

The training was imparted by the officials of the Community Mobilization Unit of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. 

The main objective of the training was reduction of waste at source. Since a large portion of the waste is organic, compost making would not only reduce the generation of the waste it would also help the local people to generate a small amount of income from their wastes.  

Friends of the Bagmati (FoB) has plans to continue such initiatives that directly benefit and involve local communities.

Membership Drive

Membership opens to all the interested individual for being a Friends of the Bagmati. You donít need to be an expert or any professionals, just be a caring member of the Bagmati.

Click here to view and download membership form.

Related Link:
News at ARC.

For the further information on HOW YOU CAN BECOME A FRIENDS PLEASE CONTACT US @ Tel: 977-1-4470770, E-mail:

P.O.Box-459, Battisputali
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: (977-1) 4470770/ 4479488
Fax: (977-1) 4471379/4478378

© Copyright 2004, Friends of the Bagmati

Site Maintained by: Dwarika's Hotel,

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Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I
Bagmati Cleaning Campaign- Phase I