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World Environment Day and Sithi Nakha observed in Nepal

Posted 6 June, 04:26 pm

UN Habitat and GUTHI in association with organizations working on water and sanitation (WATSAN), private agencies and youth groups organized various awareness raising programmes in June 2010 to commemorate World Environment Day (WED) 2010 and Sithi Nakha 2010.

WED is celebrated globally every year on 5 June to sensitize people and raise public voice on environment related issues. The day was celebrated this year as well and the theme of WED 2010 was ‘Many Species One Plant One Future’.

In Nepal, Ministry of Education in association with other sector players including UN Agencies, civil society organizations, private agencies and youth groups organized various events to celebrate WED 2010 at National level.

On this occasion, UN Habitat, GUTHI, Women Environment Preservation Committee and Friends’ Club Kupondole jointly organized a WATSAN exhibition at Bagmati River Bank. The exhibition had been held to sensitize people on environmental issues, and urge them to act for reducing river pollution and conserving rivers.

At the exhibition, models of rainwater harvesting system, wastewater treatment system, EcoSan toilet, Solar Water Disinfection technique and household solid waste composting system had been demonstrated. Apart from it, photos related to Bagmati River had also been exhibited.

An Eco-Football-2010 was also organized in Lalitpur on the occasion of WED. Members of Constitution Assembly, youth political leaders, WATSAN experts and journalists from different media houses participated at the football competition to express their solidarity in the global mission initiated to hit the goal against climate change.

Likewise, community level orientation programmes were also conducted in Bhaktapur and Siddhipur VDC to mark WED-2010. At the programme, the students, teachers and community people were oriented on WATSAN technologies including rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment and household drinking water treatment techniques.

In addition to participating in various international WATSAN events, UN Habitat is also promoting indigenous festivals particularly Sithi Nakha in Nepal.

Sithi Nakha is being celebrated in Kathmandu Valley by cleaning water sources from medieval past. On the day, people clean the local water sources including dug wells, stone spouts, springs and others with the purpose to conserve source and improve water quality. They also conduct other sanitation activities in their communities on this day.

On the occasion of Sithi Nakha 2010, UN Habitat, GUTHI, Lalitpur Nagarik Abhiyan, Stone spout and Source Conservation Association, NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation, Water Aid Nepal and Freshwater Action Network Nepal jointly held a consultation programme in Lalitpur.

Political leaders, human right activists, cultural experts, representatives of WATSAN organizations, youths and journalists took part at the programme to put their opinion about Sithi Nakha, and its value in water source conservation.

‘Water Walk’ was also organized to observe and disseminate the existing condition of traditional water source and its contribution to community level water management in Kathmandu Valley.

During the walk, the team comprising youths and journalists visited to Saptapatal pond and Kamal pokhari in Lalitpur, and Rani Pokhari in Kathmandu, where they noticed human encroachment in pond area, decreasing water level and utilization of rainwater in pond recharging. Similarly, they observed the rainwater harvesting and dug wells recharging system at Machhendra Bahal, Lalitpur and household level water management practice at Eco-Home, Kathmandu.