July 2006

In this bulletin:

World Water Day 2006 Celebration
Bagmati River Photo Exhibition
Volunteer Opportunity!


World Water Day 2006 Celebration


Component I

To mark the World Water Day 2006, Friends of the Bagmati in partnership with HMG Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), Kathmandu Metropolitan City, NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation, UNHABITAT, Water Aid Nepal, Radio Sagarmatha, ENPHO, CEN, NRCS-Kirtipur 9 ward Disaster Mgmt. Committee, ECCA, Yatra, and Kathmandu 2020 organized various programs like river bank cleaning up program at Dhobi Khola in Anamnagar and Rani Pokhari, rain water harvesting inauguration at DUDBC, photo exhibition and live art show at Chobhar.

Presentation by students on monitoring Bagmati River’s water quality and perspectives and initiatives of the government towards pollution reduction of the Bagmati were conveyed during the closing function at Chobhar. The celebration ended with an adventurous tour to Chobhar Water Cave guided by local residents. The entire program was held to meet this year’s theme of “Water and Culture”.

The Bagmati River and its tributaries have contributed significantly to the Kathmandu Valley civilization. The rivers became a source of sustenance and religio-cultural significance ever since lake that once covered the Valley drained away and human settlement began. Kathmandu Valley then became the symbol of syncretic evolution of Hinduism and Buddhism. A ritual bath in the Bagmati at Pashupatinath is believed to free a person from the cycle of births and rebirths.

Component II

On the same day, WWF Nepal partnered with Friends of the Bagmati to host another program that included a special person-to-person awareness activity. Participating volunteers  (50) visited more than 30 key government agencies, I/NGOs, and media institutions. They circulated awareness postcards (click on http://tinyurl.com/lw844 to view postcard) to organizations’ staff stressing on individual’s role in conserving water. They also distributed cards at city’s key areas and shared possible alternatives to tackle water problems at local level.

The success of this initiative shows that small actions make a big impact. We can make a difference if we are willing to adjust our personal water-use culture.


Bagmati River Photo Exhibition

Phase I: 5-7 June

Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) organized a three-day environmental exhibition from 5 June on the occasion of World Environment Day 2006. The venue was Lontse Hall, Birendra International Convention Center (BICC), Kathmandu.

Various organizations exhibited numerous environment related issues. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ram Saran Mahat, inaugurated the exhibition. Not only environment related organizations but also a number of colleges took part in the program.

The overall objective of the exhibition was to increase awareness, educate and promote organizations involved in improving the environment.

Friends of the Bagmati (FoB), ENPHO, Water Aid Nepal, NWCF, WAFED, NRCT and NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation were the seven organizations working on water issues exhibited at common stall.

On the occasion Friends of the Bagmati organized a photo exhibition that focused on problems of the Bagmati River related to biodiversity, heritage sites, sand mining, solid waste and sewer management, and industrial effluents. The posters on how we can solve the problems of the Bagmati River were also displayed. The photo exhibition was partially funded by MoEST.

In the first day a number of personalities related to environmental organizations visited the FoB stall. In the second and third day number of visitors from different sectors especially colleges and school students visited the stalls. On the last day, there was a closing ceremony held in the evening where certificates were distributed to all the participants.

Photos of professional photographers like Mani Lama, Sudarson Karki, Suresh Shakya, Nick Dawson and Anil R. were exhibited during the occasion. Nepal Photographic Society (NPS) provided the photos.

Phase II: 11 June – 11 July

Continuation to the photo exhibition done by the Friends of the Bagmati on 5-7 June at BICC Hall, one month long photo exhibition was organized at Gallery Café, Lazimpat from 11 June to 11 July. This exhibition was organized to mark the celebration of 6th Bagmati River Festival. The space was provided by the Café as an in kind support to help contribute to the efforts to revive the lost glory of Bagmati River.

The local as well as international visitors observed the photographs. According to the Café personnel there were around 20-30 visitors in a day.

On 11 July, a closing program was organized to share information about the Photo Exhibition, 6th Bagmati River Festival and to interact among the Government, NGOs and Media people in order to find a solution to the Bagmati River pollution. On the same occasion the video documentary on ‘Endangered Bagmati’ was also shown. The documentary was visualized twenty years back.

On the occasion, Sudarson Karki, Executive Member of Friends of the Bagmati and President of Nepal Photographic Society (NPS) opined that the efforts made by professionals like photographers have to be capitalized by the Government and NGOs in order to disseminate, inform and educate the new generation about the solutions to Bagmati River pollution.

Jay Ram Adhikari, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology stressed on the need to develop a pressure group from among non-governmental groups and come up with concrete action plans to solve the problems of the Bagmati River. He further added that the appropriate solutions to the problem could then only be addressed by making proper policy through Government.

It is found that the photo exhibition was more effective in disseminating proper information and knowledge to school students in particular.  Hence, the future programs should target to educate school students. Series of exhibition are needed to inculcate good environmental practices among the general public as well.


Volunteer Opportunity!

Would like to volunteer in order to reverse the degradation of the Bagmati River? Come and join us!

Friends of the Bagmati (FoB) offers a number of different volunteer opportunities from 1 to 12 months (local environmental projects through expeditions to small towns of Nepal that provide an wonderful working holiday experience).

The types of projects you can assist include: clean up campaigns, river conservation awareness programs at schools, conservation workshops, tree planting, endangered flora and fauna (aquatic) surveys and monitoring, River Resources Center development, habitat restoration and heritage protection.

It’s easy to get involved! Simply email us to: info@friendsofthebagmati.org.np or fob@dwarikas.com or call us at 977-1-4470 770. Please follow this link for more information: http://www.friendsofthebagmati.org.np/volunteer_program.pdf

Conditions mentioned in the above web link do not apply to Nepali citizens.

Would you like to support our Volunteers? E-mail us to make a Donation!


Compiled and Edited by Rabin Bastola

Photo Courtesy: ENPHO, WWF Nepal, Water Aid Nepal, and MoEST

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